A Question of Music? A Retelling!

A friend recently asked me why music was such an integral part of my characters. Not so much in Through the Fire but most certainly with the first two books in the O’Connor Sisters Trilogy. My friend pointed out I don’t listen to music, yet both Cat Conners and Esperanza O’Connor were famous award-winning singers.

As a deaf woman, music is not a part of my life. My sounds come from what my eyes experience around me. Take me to the museum. Let me stand before a Monet, Rembrandt, Pollack or even Yayoi Kusama, and I see the music in their work.

I wasn’t born deaf, however. It was a process that took almost forty years. I knew it was happening and I readied myself. I learned the language. I leaned the culture. I immersed myself in both.

I understood one day I would not hear the music on the radio or television or in the concert halls.

I did grieve, yet that was many, many years ago.

However, I remember.

I remember the musical, CATS. I remember Johnny Mathis and Ella Fitzgerald. Bette Midler was always playing in my car and house. Chaka Kahn (we are birthday twins,) I remember the power of her voice. She was the last person I saw in concert before the last of my hearing went. Her old repertoire, the music I grew up with, I heard as if I were listening to my old LPs. Her new songs, I had no idea what was going on; there was no memory of it.

So to have the O’Connor twins both accomplished musical artist is not a stretch for me.

I don’t hear their music. Cat Conners sings The Man That Got Away immortalized by the great Judy Garland. Nor Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue as played on the Steinway Grand Piano by Esperanza O’Conner.

But…I…Remember.

And remembering is enough.

Remembering makes a Pollack sound as if an experimental Jazz Ensemble were splashed on the canvas. It makes a Monet sound like the music outside a Parisian Café. Finally, Yayoi Kusama’s “Infinity Mirrored Room – Aftermath of Obliteration of Eternity,” which I recently saw at the Seattle Art Museum, was a chorus of angels weeping songs for the lost souls of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. It broke my heart!

I Remember!

And remembering is enough.

Thank you for your time and as always…”Keep Reading!”

Raj Lowenstein

www.rajlowenstein.net

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Another Review to share from MidwestBookReview.com

Through the Fire
Raj Lowenstein
Trafford Publishing
1663 Liberty Drive, Bloomington, IN 47403
http://www.trafford.com
9781490768403, $31.99, HC, 290pp, http://www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Detective Daniel Hartman lives in a three-story condo in the Montrose section of Houston that he rents from his twin brother, Dr. David Hartman. When Daniel wakes up to discover a woman, Michael Braun, naked and recovering from a savage attack, his first instincts are those of a detective. The woman is not a stranger, however. His life will change as the woman becomes entwined not only with his life but also with his heart. Michael is scared, homeless, and unsure of what is happening. Detective Hartman is an intimately familiar stranger, who, without hesitation, wraps her in his protective arms and steals her heart. Can she be sure that this vicious attack was a random act when she remembers nothing of the episode itself? Has Michael’s past, a past she struggled to escape from, found her? Can she keep herself and the man she loves safe without losing more than her soul? Will Detective Hartman become a pawn in a killer’s twisted game of revenge? Will he become his lover’s dagger, or will he go through the fire to save what he has found?

Critique: A simply riveting read from cover to cover, “Through the Fire” reveals author Raj Lowenstein’s genuine flair for originality and a storytelling style replete with unexpected twists and turns. While very highly recommended for community library Romantic Thriller & Mystery/Suspense collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that “Through the Fire” is also available in a paperback edition (9781490768380, $20.99) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $3.99).

 

Keep reading!

Raj Lowenstein

http://www.rajlowenstein.net

 

EVOLUTION???

Initially, the O’Connor Sisters Trilogy was to be called the FBI Trilogy. It seemed like a good name for the series as each of the sisters is under FBI Protective Custody. It was a smooth slide from one trilogy name to another. There were no tugs on my heart over the process of renaming the trilogy.

Yet, the other day, one of my mentors, explained to me the names of each of the books in the series didn’t make her want to reach out, take the story off the ‘future’ shelve, buy it and read it.

Of course, she was correct. However much I had grown fond of the book titles until the books are actually published, everything is fluid.

Therefore, I looked to those writers whom I read and enjoy. Who I look up to even though they don’t know me from Eve. Nora Roberts’ (http://www.noraroberts.com/) Robb In Deaths series are all connected because “In Death” is part of the titles. Likewise, Dean Koontz’ (http://www.deankoontz.com/) Odd Thomas books are all connected and recognizable because “Odd” is in each of the titles. The theme of the rise and fall of the moon ties all of Stephanie Meyer’s (https://stepheniemeyer.com/) Twilight Saga together.

So you get the point I am trying to make.

The Cat and The Blue Sky, the original title for Book 1 of the O’Connor Sisters Trilogy, while it means much to me, my mentor was correct. There is nothing to pull the reader’s attention. Nothing for them to say, “Hmmm, I want to read that book!”

Likewise, As Long as You’re Here and A Blush On A Rose may sound nice but do the book titles peek your interest? Probably not.

I would like to officially introduce you, my readers, to the O’Connor Sisters Trilogy.

Book 1, Love Behind the Lies, should out the beginning of March 2018.

Book 2, Love Behind the Mask should be available in June 2018.

Book 3, Love Behind the Silence should be out sometime in September 2018.

Thank you to those whom I trust to steer me in the right direction. I need the help.  XXOO to you.  You know who you are!

Thank you for your time and as always “Keep Reading!”

Raj Lowenstein

Love, Pain and Loss…Chihauhau Style

Buddy and MeThis morning at about three-thirty, I reached out with my hand to make sure he was sleeping, only to find a cold, empty place when Buddy slept. I got out of bed with tears on my face, and again my heart broke.

Earlier this week, Wednesday, we lost Buddy. He had developed Diabetes over a year ago, resulting in blindness. Buddy Bear Barkinstein, our sixteen-year-old Chihuahua, received two insulin shots every day. When he lost his sight, we wanted to sleep with my husband and me. It was a concession we gladly accepted. He tried but didn’t always make the PeePee pads he had used for many years.

He required constant attention when we were home. I was happy to do whatever he needed. I was his human mama.

I had taken him to the vet the Friday before. He came home with some additional medication for his heart and blood pressure. Yet Buddy, who I often call a little piggy, hadn’t eaten the Wednesday or Thursday before our vet appointment. Over the weekend he had still not eaten and barely drink.

I have been here before with another furry baby, my teacup Chihuahua named Granny. So even before my appointment with his wonderful vet, I had an idea what was going to happen.

The vet-tech texted me only an hour after I had dropped Buddy off to ask if I could come back and speak with the vet. Dr. A., a magnificent young woman, did not want to use the Video Relay Service. She did not want to text me. She desired to speak to me face to face.

Buddy’s heart was double the size it should have been. He was struggling to breathe because his lungs had been compressed to a third of their size by his swollen heart. There might, she explained, be some help, however, the closest Cardiac Veterinarian was in Seattle. Seattle is an hour and a half drive for us. Well worth the trip, but she let me know Buddy probably wouldn’t make it more than a day or two as his little body was beginning to shut down.

I brought him home and spent the following day, from three in the morning until three thirty in the afternoon, loving and being with him. I laid on the floor when he wanted in his bed. When he staggered down the hallway to our bedroom, we curled up on my bed and napped.

People who do not have Fuzzy Children cannot comprehend how great the loss is when they are gone. My heart, as well as my family’s, is broken. The hole that Buddy occupied in my heart is empty.

I will continue to cry and wish Buddy was here. Yet I have twelve years of beautiful memories of my little darling to help me through this tough time.

Thank you for all of you who sent well wishes. It really did help soothe my pain.

Thank you for your time and as always “Keep Reading!”

Raj Lowenstein

To Pee or not to Pee?  What a great Question! (A repost!)

The call of nature beacons to us all. Not only that but we eat, shower/bath, brush our teeth and, at least for me, try to figure what the hell to do with my hair.

The call of nature beacons to us all. Not only that but we eat, shower/bath, brush our teeth and, at least for me, try to figure what the hell to do with my hair.

But, do we want to read about it in a book.

I am a drinker of water. The doctor would be proud of me because I consistently hit my 80 oz. of water a day.  This, however, means I take many trips to “powered my nose,” “freshen up,” or visit the WC.

When I write, I do include trips to the bathroom. Not as many as most fictional characters would but still part of the day in the life of the people who populate my books.

Another thing that always bothers me when watching a movie or made for television movie is that people wake up after a long nights sleep to make wild passionate love. Excuse me!  I have nasty elephant breath in the morning. Never in over twenty years of marriage have my husband, and I woke up and made whoopee without first visiting the loo to freshen up AND brush our teeth.

As fiction follows reality, my characters do the same thing.

For me, creating characters who do real things in their storylines makes them and their situations real.

We write what we know.

Thank you for your time and as always “Keep Reading!”

Raj Lowenstein