[Book Review] DiAnn Mills’ “Airborne”

“The tragedy that had threatened their lives had drawn them together.”

Diann Mills’ upcoming novel “Airborne” is placed under the categories fiction, romance and suspense and it delivers each one effortlessly. From the first chapter, readers are instantly transported to the complicated world of FBI agent Heather Lawrence. She’s headed to Germany while taking a much needed vacation away from her tumultuous marriage. Little did she know, a deviant criminal happens to be one of her fellow passengers.

As the book progresses. readers are exposed to the raw and detailed descriptions of a mysterious germ in flight. Heather is even forced to return to work mode to discover who is behind the heinous attack. Unfortunately, her estranged husband, Dr. Chad Lawrence, is a person of interest, and she becomes a target. Finding the real culprit will prove to be harder than it appears, because the criminal suffers from a dissociative personality disorder. It keeps you guessing until the very end.

“Airborne” is a valiant novel when it comes to suspense. The virus description and action packed scenes are intense. On the other hand, the faith and romance aspects give the book a much needed break. In my opinion, the best part of “Airborne” has to be the main characters relationship with God. Author DiAnn Mills puts a more realistic take on people’s approach to religion, and it’s an appropriate read for people from all religious backgrounds.

“Airborne” is scheduled to be released on September 8th, 2020.

*A Special Thanks to Tyndale House Publishers for the advance reader copy of the book and cover image*

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Megan Nicole and Husband, Cooper, Wow With Marshmello Cover

 

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BLACKPINK Crushes The Competition With New Single

Global sensation BLACKPINK impressed the music world yet again by breaking BTS’ YouTube record for the most amount of views in a 24 hour period. Their new song “How You Like That”, which precedes the scheduled studio album release in September, continues to entertain fans with the K-Pop stars’ usual catchy beats and fabulous fashion sense. After only hours online, it has already surpassed 57 million views. I applaud BLACKPINK on their message of empowerment after a breakup and the always evolving choreography. In addition, I would love to see these extremely talented ladies wear vintage ball gowns or even sleek business suits in future music videos.

Check out their latest music video below:

Congratulations to BLACKPINK!

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[Interview] Dancer Dara Holmes: My Most Unforgettable Performance Was Ekman’s Midsummer Night’s Dream

Photo Credit: Cheryl Mann

After 9 successful years with The Joffrey Ballet, Dara Holmes continues to make her hometowns of New Jersey and North Carolina proud. The 2015 3Arts Award nominee has danced in a host of well-known Joffrey productions including: Incantations, Son of Chamber Symphony, Swan Lake, La Bayadère, Don Quixote, Forgotten Land, Tulle, and The Nutcracker. BTSCelebs decided to catch up with the lovely local star to see how she is spending this downtime.

Check out our interview below!

BTSCelebs: Who is Dara Holmes?

Dara Holmes: A 28-year-old artist with the Joffrey Ballet.

What piqued your interest in performing arts?

I knew I wanted to be a dancer at age three when I learned of ballet from a B encyclopedia; I haven’t stopped since then.

Tell us all about your most unforgettable performance at the Joffrey so far.

There are so many, but to keep it positive, my most unforgettable performance and one that I’ll forever be grateful to God for was being able to still perform in Ekman’s Midsummer Night’s Dream after getting injured two months before the show hit the stage. An attitude of gratitude always makes performing worthwhile, though it’s not always easy.

Tell us all about your daily routine over the past few months.

It’s been class and Pilates in my “studio” apartment and Bible study on alternating days of the week. As it gets warmer, I’ve been stepping out more, sometimes walking up to five miles in a day and sometimes to just find an area nearby to read, non-fiction mainly. I’ve also been watching so much YouTube; that’s TV for me. Christian and biblical topics, politics, and…hair!

What motivates you to stay active during quarantine?

Our online ballet classes have been a big help; I have to be honest though, with the future being uncertain right now, it’s hard to stay motivated. But class keeps my mind on my personal technical goals.

What is your go-to playlist?

It’s always either my Christian playlist on my iTunes or my beats playlist on my SoundCloud.

What advice do you have for Joffrey fans who are bored during this theatre downtime?

Stay tuned!

Dara Holmes and Edson Barbosa_Photo by Cheryl Mann

A Special Thanks to Dara Holmes and The Silverman Group for the exclusive interview and images.

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[Interview] Dancer Valentino Moneglia Zamora: ‘Born To Be Wild’ Made Me Want To Pursue Ballet As A Profession

Photo Credit: Cheryl Mann

In 2016, Valentino Moneglia Zamora joined the Joffrey Ballet Studio Company and scored coveted parts in Swan Lake and Don Quixote. He even landed lead roles in George Balanchine’s Viva Vivaldi and Suite Saint-Saens, Bournonville’s Napoli, and Alexander Ekman’s Episode 31. Today, the handsome company artist showcases his dancing skills to a Midwestern audience on a yearly basis.

BTSCelebs recently interviewed the Robles Ballet School alum to learn more about him, and how he is spending this period of quarantine.

BTSCelebs: Who is Valentino Moneglia Zamora?

Valentino: I am from a small town from the south of Spain. I enjoy plants and cooking, and I am a ballet dancer with The Joffrey Ballet.

What piqued your interest in performing arts?

Since I was a little boy, I’ve always liked dancing around to whatever music was playing. So my mom eventually put me in the professional conservatory of dance in Murcia, a city close by. For the first few years in school, I studied ballet, flamenco, and Spanish folk dances until I chose to focus only on ballet. Learning about dance during these years got me very interested in performing arts, But what made me want to pursue ballet as a profession was a dvd that my ballet teacher gave me called Born to be Wild. It featured the leading men of American Ballet Theater at the time. It made me realize what the performing arts could look like.

Based on all the shows you’ve performed in, which one of your past roles do you identify with the most?

The role of Buffalo Bill in the Joffrey Ballet’s Nutcracker. I picture him as an impulsive, wild man and at times I think I can be a little bit like that.

Tell us all about your daily routine over the past few months.

Since my normal routine has been put on hold, I have tried to invest my time in different activities that I usually don’t have time to do. I have read new books, tried new recipes, learned to play the ukulele, dedicated more time to my plants. But most importantly, I have been able to FaceTime my family every day.

What motivates you to stay active during quarantine?

For me, staying active and doing exercises keeps my mind at ease and helps me deal better with what’s happening in the world today.

What is your go-to playlist?

I am obsessed with the The 1975. I listen to their last two albums almost every day. But before ballet, I like to listen to “Boleros de Los Panchos” playlist on Apple Music.

What advice do you have for Joffrey fans who are bored during this theatre downtime?

Keep an eye on the Joffrey Ballet’s social media. They have been sharing great content of Joffrey Ballet’s past performances and take a look at “On Cue” with our ballet master, Adam Blyde, to learn more about the company dancers.

A Special Thanks to Valentino Moneglia Zamora and The Silverman Group for the exclusive interview and images.

Victoria Jaiani and Valentino Zamora Photo Credit: Cheryl Mann

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The Joffrey Ballet Cancels Performances For The Rest Of The Year

Amanda Assucena_in rehearsal for Joy_Photo by Todd Rosenberg

Chicago’s top dance company made the tough decision to postpone their first season at the Lyric Opera House. According to a recent press release, they are cancelling Sir Kenneth MacMillan’s Manon (October 14-25, 2020) and Christopher Wheeldon’s The Nutcracker (December 5-27, 2020), while February, April and May productions are still scheduled. Special programs will be announced at a later date. “Additionally, the Joffrey has established a Crisis Stabilization Fund to recoup financial losses stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Ashley Wheater MBE, The Mary B. Galvin Artistic Director of The Joffrey Ballet had this to say about their decision, “Like all arts organizations, the Joffrey is dealing with unprecedented and unpredictable conditions. Based on advice from health experts and local officials, it is not feasible to present the first half of our season in a manner that guarantees the safety of our audience, artists, production crew, and staff members. It saddens all of us. Our focus right now is keeping the Company whole and in good mental, spiritual, and physical health. We will continue to adapt and be ready to return to the stage when the circumstances allow. We will persevere and find new, creative ways to connect with our audience in the meantime.”

Greg Cameron, President and Chief Executive Officer added, “The loss of The Nutcracker alone—more than half of the Joffrey’s annual earned revenue—compounds a financial crisis for the Company that began this past spring with the cancellation of several important performances and programs. We will now put our full attention and energy toward the Crisis Stabilization Fund to ensure the long-term health of the Joffrey. This is a critical juncture. Every moment, every decision, every dollar will count.”

Click Here on learn more about Joffrey’s Crisis Stabilization Fund via BTSCelebs’ Facebook Page.

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BTSCelebs to Review DiAnn Mills’ “Airborne” This Summer

DiAnn Mills is back with another riveting mystery!

In Mills’ upcoming novel titled “Airborne”, FBI Agent Heather Lawrence’s simple vacation flight quickly transforms into a terrifying mystery when passengers start falling ill.  It’s up to her and her FBI colleagues to find out the reason for the outbreak and end it.

Stay tuned to BTSCelebs in the coming weeks for a complete review.

“Airborne” releases September 2020.

* A Special Thanks to Tyndale House Publishers for a complimentary copy of the book.*

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Mandisa Talks Love and Relationships With “Single Life” Panel

 

This week, the gifted CCM singer, Mandisa,  joined a group of bachelors and bachelorettes to give the world a glimpse into the minds of singles today. Bestselling author and speaker Anthony Oneal invited the energetic group to discuss modern dating and share their personal opinions for the five-part series.

Whether you’re single or married, there is so much to learn from the insightful discussions. Be prepared to experience a roller coaster of emotions as you watch “Single Life” on YouTube. Check out one of Mandisa‘s best episodes here.

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What is The Joffrey Ballet Up To Today?

Swan Lake (The Joffrey Ballet)

Chicago’s top dance company, The Joffrey Ballet, is staying busy during this period of quarantine. Artistic team members/dancers are opening up to their audience like never before. Theme Ballet Weeks and the Train Like A Pro workout series gives everyone a bird’s eye view of popular past productions, while teaching us their outstanding moves. Right now, you can enjoy these specials and so much more for free in the comfort of your own home.

Take a look at one video from each series:

Swan Lake

Julia Rust –

As an added bonus, you can watch fun, brief interviews with dancers!

Stefan Goncalvez –

Videos are uploaded on a regular basis! Click Here to visit Joffrey’s Official YouYube Channel.

*A Special Thanks to The Silverman Group for the info.*

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Fantasy Casting: “That Girl” Starring Samantha Boscarino and Dale Whibley

This year, a classic TV network introduced the famous 60s-70s series “That Girl” (starring Marlo Thomas and Ted Bessell) to a new generation. I saw some episodes during my childhood but watching the sitcom in it’s entirety was a whole new experience. Also, I wondered if the show was ever remade… who would take on the starring roles?

So, this is my dream cast for a “That Girl” series in the 20s!

Ann Marie – actress Samantha Boscarino

After starring in “God’s Not Dead: A Light in Darkness”, she has landed a number of roles in shorts and TV shows. The former child star is ready to take the lead and being “That Girl” would be the perfect opportunity.

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on a JLO tip 🤳🏽

A post shared by Samantha Boscarino (@pongypal) on

Donald Hollinger – actor Dale Whibley

Do you remember Caleb from “Make It Pop”? Dale scored numerous projects since then and is a familiar face on the Hallmark Channel and ABC’s “American Housewife”. He definitely fits the boy-next-door role while updating it and making it his own.

Lew Marie – actor Andrew Walker

Like the previous actors, Andrew is also a former child star. He was introduced to viewers through the 90s shows “Are You Afraid of The Dark” and “Student Bodies”, and now he’s become a Hallmark Channel leading man. Ann Marie’s father in the classic series is a distinguished gentlemen, this time around, I think it would be better to make him younger. Maybe he’ll understand Ann’s career ambitions a little more if he’s a little closer to her age.

Helen Marie -actress Lacey Chabert

The Christian Mingle actress is best known as Gretchen in the blockbuster film Mean Girls. In recent years, she has become a bonafide Hallmark Channel star. What better mother could That Girl have than a mean girl turned good? Again, Lacey could be a younger parent that’ll be her caring mom and best friend.

That is BTSCelebs’ choices for the main cast, and the possibilities are endless for their friends, co-workers and neighbors!

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