Tag Archives: Vashti Q

Haiku Friday – Pink & Shell

21 Jul

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“She is a mermaid, but approach her with caution. Her mind swims at a depth most would drown in.”

~J Iron Word

An enchanting mermaid swam through the oceans of the world trying to forget her past. You see, not long ago she found a young man resting on a strip of sand punctuated by palm trees, and it was love at first sight. She lured him to sea and they swam together. They kissed and caressed, as they laughed giddy with pleasure. She held him tight and plunged into the depths, failing to remember in cruel bliss that even lovers drown.

So she swam and swam, all the while the distance she created did not relieve her heartache. She came to a mystical land of pink sandy beaches. Relieved to be far from the terrain of men she rested. The ocean sighed and brought in the tide and as she breathed the salty air she felt a stir in her middle. She rubbed her belly and felt it pop. Soon after, she realized she was with child.

Although the child would be offspring to the one she had lost at sea––the one whose blinding smile still burned in her eyes––she swore to the ocean she would always care for it. But when a male babe was born in the likeness of her lost love she did not know how she would keep her promise. Every day she fed the babe and cared for him, only leaving him at night when she returned to the sea. She always left him sleeping, swaddled in palm fronds in a small trench she dug near the water.

Days turn to weeks and as the little male child grew, so did her suffering for he reminded her of the lover she held too long underwater. Finally, one night she prayed to the ocean goddess asking for help. After hours of tearful prayers she went into the sea to sleep with the coral. The next morning she awoke and swam dutifully to the pink shore to feed and care for her child.

When she arrived to the area where she had left him for the night––he wasn’t there. Swaddled in palm fronds was a large conch shell. She picked it up and examined it in her hand. It was the most exquisite shell she had ever laid eyes on. A soft, mellifluous sound escaped the shell. The mermaid lifted it to her ear and heard the voice of the ocean goddess, “This is your baby boy. He shall be easier to care for now.”

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She danced with coral

Happy as a clam with pearl

Till in love she fell

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Pink and Shell are this week’s prompt words chosen by Ronovan Hester of Ronovan Writes.

Ron hosts a challenge that anyone could participate in called Ronovan Writes Weekly Haiku Poetry Prompt Challenge every Monday, and you have until Sunday to create a post featuring your haiku poem. He is an author and poet and also does author interviews and much more on his blog. Be sure to check it out. Read Ron’s Haiku Prompt Challenge Guidelines for more information.

 


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Have a happy Friday, everyone!

 

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.

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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.

 

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.”

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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!

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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.

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 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.

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 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.

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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.

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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!

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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

 

Haiku Friday – Amuse & Irate

14 Jul

“If your work isn’t exciting, doesn’t stir the emotions, where’s the challenge? Where’s the progress if you always play it safe?”

~Michael Douglas

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All pictures are from my ‘Dream Writing Spaces‘ Board on Pinterest

I’m a writer of horror, thriller and epic/dark fantasy. From the time I was a young kid, writing has been my passion. I’ve always been a writer—I just didn’t know it until much later. For me, it is easier to express my thoughts on paper than through the spoken word. I enjoy making people feel an array of emotions with my writing. I like my audience to laugh one moment, cry the next and clench their jaws after that.

When I write I feel alive. I feel like I am being my true self. I love to entertain with my writing and stir the soul and for some reason a lesson or two will always creep up at the end for my readers to learn.

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#WritersLife

by Vashti Q

I write to amuse

I write to touch and change moods

Sometimes I provoke

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“I will not be a common man. I will stir the smooth sands of monotony.”

~Peter O’Toole

Amuse and Irate are this week’s prompt words chosen by Ronovan Hester of Ronovan Writes.

Ron hosts a challenge that anyone could participate in called Ronovan Writes Weekly Haiku Poetry Prompt Challenge every Monday, and you have until Sunday to create a post featuring your haiku poem. He is an author and poet and also does author interviews and much more on his blog. Be sure to check it out. Read Ron’s Haiku Prompt Challenge Guidelines for more information.

Happy Friday and great weekend everyone!

 

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

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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’!

 

 

 

Haiku Friday – Ocean & Shore

7 Jul

“I want to be a mermaid. Mermaids don’t drown.”

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Illustration by Matty Lasuire (DeviantArt – PeculiarDork)

“I am a siren, and for my adoration of mankind, have been caught in fishing nets one time too many. And in those fishing nets I have learned too many unfavorable things about human intentions and the lack of trust and goodwill; I’m not going to allow myself to be caught, anymore. Sirens do well at singing the sirens’ song and dragging vile people to their deaths, and for good reason!”

~ C. JoyBell C.

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Illustration by Waldemar-Kazak on DeviantArt

Gadreel’s Song

I sang my sweet song

Where ocean waves lapped the shore

Still no mermaids came

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“I must be a mermaid. I have no fear of depths and a great fear of shallow living.”

~ Anaïs Nin

Ocean and Shore are this week’s prompt words chosen by Ronovan Hester of Ronovan Writes.

Ron hosts a challenge that anyone could participate in called Ronovan Writes Weekly Haiku Poetry Prompt Challenge every Monday, and you have until Sunday to create a post featuring your haiku poem. He is an author and poet and also does author interviews and much more on his blog. Be sure to check it out. Read Ron’s Haiku Prompt Challenge Guidelines for more information.

Have a happy Friday and great weekend!

Haiku Friday – Ember & Flame

30 Jun

“It is better to conquer yourself than to win a thousand battles. Then the victory is yours. It cannot be taken from you, not by angels or by demons, heaven or hell.”

~Buddha

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Where is hell? Some people say it’s right here on Earth, in our world, and after watching the news for a few minutes you may believe it too. Others say hell is in your mind. Walk into any insane asylum or hospital for the criminally insane and I guarantee it’ll make perfect sense. What could be more hellish than our own guilt?

If we were to imagine hell as a place here on Earth, where would it be? I can’t think of a place closer to hell than inside an active volcano standing on the banks of a magma lake––can you?

HELL

by Vashti Q

Deep in the darkness

Confined till the end of days

Swallowed by Volcán

Wrapped in chains, covered in ash

Tormented by magma flames

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“The mind is its own place and in itself, can make a Heaven of Hell, a Hell of Heaven.”

~John Milton

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“We are each our own devil, and we make this world our hell.”

~Oscar Wilde

 

Ember and Flame are this week’s prompt words chosen by Ronovan Hester of Ronovan Writes.

Last week’s prompt words were Darkness and Deep. Since I didn’t do Haiku Friday last week I decided to incorporate these words into today’s poem.

Ron hosts a challenge that anyone could participate in called Ronovan Writes Weekly Haiku Poetry Prompt Challenge every Monday, and you have until Sunday to create a post featuring your haiku poem. He is an author and poet and also does author interviews and much more on his blog. Be sure to check it out. Read Ron’s Haiku Prompt Challenge Guidelines for more information.

Happy Friday and great weekend, everyone!

 

Pay It Forward – Author Diane Munier

22 Jun

Happy Friday everyone and a warm welcome to my blog!

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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

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“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!

 

 

 

BLOG TOUR: Linda G. Hill | The Magician’s Curse

19 Jun

Hello! Today I am participating in a Blog Tour for fellow author and blogger, Linda G. Hill. Her new novel, The Magician’s Curse will be released in paperback 6/27/17 on Amazon, but you can pre-order the Kindle version now. Please read on and learn more about Linda and her book.


 

When Herman Anderson leaves home to make a better life for herself, she doesn’t expect to meet a tall, dark stranger with whom she’ll fall hopelessly in love.

 

Charming and mysterious, Stephen Dagmar is a stage magician seeking an assistant. The moment he sets eyes on Herman, he knows she’s the one. He brings her home to his Victorian mansion where they embark upon an extravagant romance. Yet a shadow hangs over their love. Will the curse on his family end Stephen and Herman’s happily ever after, before it really begins?

 

Amidst lace and leather, innocence and debauchery, ‘The Magician’s Curse‘ begins the Gothic tale of The Great Dagmaru. Magic and romance await.

Book Cover for ‘The Magicians Curse’ by Author Linda G.Hill

Official Release Date: June 27, 2017! Pre-order your Kindle copy today.

**Available soon on Kobo, and on June 27th in paperback on Amazon.

 

An excerpt from Chapter 2:

The moment Stephen stepped out the door, the foyer fell silent again. He didn’t have to look at any of the interviewees perched, alert upon burgundy velvet-covered benches against both sides of the room, to know their eyes were on him. They were drawn to him as though he were a human magnet, just as Herman had been. He passed the stairs, turned right, and stepped into the dining room where his agent, Margaret, waited for him to arrive.

“Hey,” she said without looking up. She sat poring over the applications that were strewn across the large antique dining room table. He closed the door behind him and leaned against it, staring at the top of her dark mane of hair shining in the light of the chandelier above her head. Her long, graceful fingers, poised to turn a page, were an elegant extension of the rest of her lithe body. Finally, she looked up and took in his appearance with icy-green eyes. She was every bit as beautiful as any of the women outside.

“What’s the matter with you?” she asked. Being inseparable for five years, both as best friends and then co-workers, made it easy for her to tell when there was something different, however subtle, about him.

“I found her,” Stephen said, his back still to the door.

“Who?”

“She has a perfect body and long, brown hair and the bluest eyes you’ve ever seen. And her lips! Full and beautiful. And the way they move when she speaks … absolutely captivating.”

Margaret narrowed her eyes. “You hired someone on the train again, didn’t you?” It was a statement more than a question.

Stephen nodded.

“Okay,” she said, sitting back in her chair. “Tell me more about her.”

“I think she’s running away from home. She has a job to go to, but she agreed to come and check this one out. She’s sweet and innocent and she’s almost eighteen.”

Margaret crossed her arms and narrowed her eyes even more.

“No, I didn’t audition her the same way I did the others,” he said.

“So you didn’t bang her in the limo on the way here.”

“No! She’s not of age. And anyway, I knew from the second I saw her that she’s the one.”

Margaret began to say something just as the door opened on the far side of the room to her left, and Nina came in from the kitchen. Both Stephen and Margaret glanced at the slight young woman and then at each other.

“Should I leave the two of you alone?” Margaret asked.

Stephen shook his head almost imperceptibly and walked over to have a quiet word with the girl. After a few seconds she bowed and backed out of the room, and Stephen turned back to his friend.

“Well then,” Margaret said, throwing her hands up and glaring down at the stacks of paper in front of her. “Tell them all to go home.”

“No, I still want to interview them.”

“What the hell for?”

“Herman might not take the job.”

Margaret raised her eyebrows. “<em>Herman</em>?”

“Yeah.”

“Okay, let me get this straight. You’re telling me she’s the one you want but that she might not stay. I’m confused.”

He stood, silently pleading with his friend to understand what he had only begun to comprehend himself.

“What the hell is wrong with you, Stephen? I’ve never seen you undone like this before …”

Margaret put her hand up to her mouth, realization dawning on her face. “Oh my God,” she said quietly.

He closed his eyes as he spoke. “It doesn’t matter whether or not she’ll be my assistant, Margaret.” He opened his eyes and swallowed hard. “She’s the girl I’m going to marry.”

 

About The Author

Linda G. Hill was born and raised an only child in Southern Ontario, Canada. She credits the time she spent alone when she was growing up, reading books and building worlds and characters of her own to keep her company, as the reason she became a writer.

 

A stay-at-home mom of three beautiful boys, Linda is a graduate of the Writing Program at St. Lawrence College in Brockville, Ontario. Aside from caring for her family, she enjoys traveling the world, eating trout cooked on the barbecue, and, of course, reading.

 

Follow Linda on Social Media:

Main blog: https://lindaghill.com

Fiction and Poetry blog: https://lindaghillfiction.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lindaghill.fiction/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LindaGHill

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15577348.Linda_G_Hill

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Linda-G.-Hill/e/B01K2LICL0/

Haiku Friday – Star & Bloom

16 Jun

 

“My father gave me the greatest gift anyone could give another person, he believed in me.”

~Jim Valvano

I lost my father in January of this year and I wasn’t sure how I would feel come Father’s Day. There’s a heaviness in my heart because I miss him. I miss his voice, smile, laughing eyes, and hugs. I miss watching the Discovery, National Geographic, History and Sci-Fi channels with him and discussing what we saw afterward. I miss reading books with him and forming our own little book club to talk about what we’d read.

I remember the faces he made whenever my mom made him dance with her, and his stiff, soldierly way of dancing. He loved movies, like I did, and I remember his reaction when we saw Avatar together in 3D. He resembled a child in his excitement and amazement having never seen anything like that before.

I should never have written ‘lost’ because he’s not lost. He’s in a better place and one day we’ll see each other again and together we’ll marvel at things even more amazing.

father-Father's Day-The Writer Next Door-Vashti Q-Haiku_Friday-Poetry-RonovanWrites

She reached for the stars

The depth of her father’s love

showed her how to thrive

father-Father's Day-The Writer Next Door-Vashti Q-Haiku_Friday-Poetry-RonovanWrites

 

I Love You, Dad

by 365greetings.com

Your arms are my shelter

Assuring me that it will be better

Your hand is my comfort

Lifting me up when I fall short

Your voice makes me strong

Teaching me what’s right and wrong

Your smile says it all

Father, I love you more than all

father-Father's Day-The Writer Next Door-Vashti Q-Haiku_Friday-Poetry-RonovanWrites

“Every good man is a father to someone.”

 

 

Spotlight: M J Mallon Author

12 Jun

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

~Maya Angelou

Kyrosmagica-Marjorie Mallon-Facebook_club-The Writer Next Door-Vashti Q-spotlight

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

kyrosmagica-marjorie mallon-the writer next door-vashti q-writer-blogger

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

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

 

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!