If you’re a fan of Simple Gifts (or anything related to music), you’re in luck! The Anastasia Vitsky Patreon site now has a bonus story featuring our beloved Leila and Carene.
Carene, an orchestra teacher at a public school, fights budget cuts every day. Music programs are cut at many schools that struggle financially, so keeping her orchestra equipped is a challenge.
“You’re what?” Carene grabbed a heavy black music stand and set it down.
“Taking them to Mr. Reed.” The gangly eighth-grader took the stand back. He hefted it onto his right shoulder while lifting another onto his left
“But they’re for my kids.”
The student shrugged. “Not anymore.”
Carene blocked the door, her face growing hot. She had spent hours researching grants when the Rosebury Junior High administration turned down her request to update the school orchestra’s music stands. Most were hand-me-downs from the choir and originals from the school opening fifty years ago.
Carene’s voice rose. “The band has the newest stands already!” She wasn’t giving up her precious new equipment without a fight.
If you’ve ever had to struggle with budget cuts, you’ll understand Carene’s pain. Find out more on my Patreon site! You’ll also get advance invitations to events, an exclusive newsletter, and plenty of other perks for subscribers.
Music. Without the love of her life, how can Leila learn to live again?
Professional violinist Leila Feran is accustomed to fame as the youngest and first female concertmaster of the Philharmonic Symphony. Driven to achieve ever-increasing heights, she injures her wrist so badly that she may no longer be able to play. While she recovers, she moves in with her childhood best friend, a pianist and beloved orchestra teacher in a small town.
Carene welcomes Leila with open arms and only one condition: no divas allowed. And if Leila can’t follow the house rules, she might find herself over Carene’s knee…or worse. In between arguments over physical therapy and house rules, Carene’s zero-tolerance policy regarding divas results in some old-fashioned discipline that changes into something more.
Will Leila and Carene’s new feelings for each other blossom into something wonderful? Or will Leila lose not just a potential soul mate, but also her friend?