5-star review for Mira! Plus Simple Gifts, A Sneak Peek

I enjoyed the texture of the writing, the smooth descriptions of the lessons in a language that is beautiful and ornate and how the main character strove to meet her teachers’ demands. The gradual realization as to what she (Mira) needs is an awakening and in some ways a birth by fire. Passion runs hot in this short novel and I found myself pondering about its nuances even when I wasn’t reading it at that moment. If a book makes you think, that is one of the highest compliments you can give it.

I enjoyed the texture of the writing, the smooth descriptions of the lessons in a language that is beautiful and ornate and how the main character strove to meet her teachers’ demands. The gradual realization as to what she (Mira) needs is an awakening and in some ways a birth by fire. Passion runs hot in this short novel and I found myself pondering about its nuances even when I wasn’t reading it at that moment. If a book makes you think, that is one of the highest compliments you can give it.

Look what Mira brought home!! Go read the entire review here. Oh, joy and glory! Thank you to everyone who has written to me saying how much you enjoy Desire in Any Language.

(Computer is slowly drying out, and it’s still a tossup whether it will still be usable. This old computer has such stiff keys that it is hard on my wrists. Speaking of hard on wrists, today I will let you see a sneak peek–and more than six sentences–of my April release, Simple Gifts. Leila, a professional violinist, is recovering from a case of tendonitis so severe that she has has to take leave from her symphony. She stays with Carene, her best friend from childhood who teaches orchestra in a small town. Carene trained to be a concert pianist but decided that she preferred to teach. Because Leila is out of a job, Carene sets her up with students for private violin lessons. The problem is that Leila is only used to teaching the best of the best. The other problem is that Carene has one unbreakable rule: No divas. Leila is about to find out just what that means…)

*                *                   *

Simple Gifts (publication date: April 2013 by Lazy Day)

“No, no, NO!”  Leila jumped out of her chair and snatched the violin out of Brittany’s hands. At the piano, Carene frowned but stopped playing. They had agreed to respect each other’s methods in front of the students.

Leila tucked the violin, so oddly heavy and clunky compared to her own, and drew the bow across the strings. Instead of every beat played with dreary sameness, the notes danced off her fingers with a toe-tapping whirl. Instead of Brittany’s stolid and semi-correctly placed fingers, Leila’s scurried up and down the fingerboard. An accent here and a crescendo there with an infectious, lilting buildup to a climax followed by a tripping, bubbly skip of the notes downward.

Brittany’s eyes grew wide. She looked at her violin in awe, as if wondering how the same instrument could sound completely different in her teacher’s hands.

“That’s how it’s supposed to sound! Vivaldi wrote this concerto for his students!” Leila raged, thrusting the violin back toward Brittany. “For his beginning students who were too stupid to do anything serious. And you limp through the music every single week without improving a single bit. Do you even look at your violin in between lessons?”

“It’s hard,” Brittany mumbled, glancing over at Carene for help. “I practiced, honest I did, every day for two hours like you said.”

“Good God, do you mean you could be even worse? I was playing this when I was seven! And you’re what, fourteen now?”  Leila flipped the music book back to the beginning page.

[. . .]

“Bye, Ms. Moraghan! Thank you! I’ll do better next time, I promise!”  She waved as she headed toward the door.

“Not too much! Don’t neglect your schoolwork!”  Carene waved back and closed the door behind Brittany. Then she sighed. Walked back to the music room, crossed the hall, and opened Leila’s door. As she’d expected, Leila was smoldering like a volcano just before eruption. At Carene’s entrance, Leila turned  guiltily.

“I can’t help it that she got upset,” she muttered. “It was an easy entrance. And it was the second time she muffed it. You know she’ll never get into any orchestra if she’s not any better than that.”

Carene closed the door behind her.  Her clipped, abrupt words held none of the kindly comfort she had given Brittany. “Give me one good reason I shouldn’t put you over my knee and paddle the daylights out of you.”

(c) Anastasia Vitsky and Lazy Day Publishing, 2013

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14 thoughts on “5-star review for Mira! Plus Simple Gifts, A Sneak Peek

  1. pao says:

    You must be beaming with pride at what Mira brought back 😀 And aha, finally Carene and Leila. But ooh, Leila…bit harsh, no?

    I’m curious what machine you’re using now…and what games you have 😀 Hope your computer recovers soon!

    Like

    • Ana says:

      Ah…it was too long to show the whole scene, but Leila was…ahem…out of line. Example: “If you’re never going to get any better than this, you should just burn your violin and save your parents their money.”

      Leila agrees with you that Carene was harsh, though. 🙂

      Using an old, old LG xnote laptop. And Bigfish games. But I got told off for that yesterday, so I’m being good today.

      Like

      • pao says:

        I can understand how Leila feels but I think she deserves what Carene suggested 🙂

        Whoa, Bigsfish games. Hmm, maybe you should get Thinkpads, they have really nice full-sized keyboards and also drain holes at the bottom for when you spill things onto it 😀

        Like

  2. Cat says:

    Congratulations on the lovely review…you and Mira totally deserve it!

    Oh my…got a funny feeling Leila is going to end up with a sore/red bottom…probably sooner rather than later!

    Like

  3. Celeste Jones says:

    Congrats to Mira on her great review.

    Can’t wait for Simple Gifts.

    And….if you’ll pardon shameless self-promotion…a reminder that we’ll start talking about Desire in Any Language this Friday at the Spanking Stories Book Club.

    Like

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