Tysons, VA

A local author says her upcoming mystery novel is her “love letter” to Vienna.

“To Kill a Mocking Girl” is about a woman who investigates the death of someone named Tricia after being framed for her murder, according to the author’s website.

Harper Kincaid said that though the book is fiction, it is set in Vienna and includes local spots such as Bards Alley bookstore and the Freeman Store.

“I got a kick out of sharing with readers some of my favorite places in town,” she said.

There are many real-life residents written into the book too, she said, adding that she wonders if local readers can guess who they are.

Kincaid wasn’t born in the town but moved there around 2006 and said the townspeople help her to feel at home.

Though a hard copy of the book was set to launch in May, the publicist told Tysons Reporter that the physical book launch has been pushed to June 9 after a prerelease of the e-book on May 12.

Currently, the book is available for preorder but it is unclear when it will actually ship.

Depending on how things progress, Kincaid said she is considering having a book launch on June 9 at 7 p.m. in Bards Alley bookstore where she wants to give away a gift-basket valued at around $250.

Image courtesy Harper Kincaid

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(Updated 3/10/2020) The annual NoVa TEEN Book Festival has been canceled due to the recent spread of the coronavirus in the D.C. area.

The free festival was originally set to feature 35 bestselling and new young adult authors, like Alechia Dow and Kristen Simmons, and Brigid Kemmerer, the author of “A Heart So Fierce and Broken,” will provide as the keynote speaker on Pi Day (March 14).

The NoVa TEEN Book Festival Committee said in a statement today (Tuesday) that the festival will return to Marshall High School on March 20, 2021.

“With the recent spread of COVID-19 to the Northern Virginia, Maryland and DC Metro areas, we are unable to ensure that all of our authors, volunteers, exhibitors, staff and attendees will be safe at the festival this weekend,” the statement said.

The committee said that the cancellation of this year’s festival will “have a significant impact on all of our amazing authors” and urged people to connect with authors online and “share their books as widely as you can.”

The committee also encouraged people to buy books from Arlington-based One More Page Books, which was set to sell signed books at the festival.

“The NoVa TEEN book festival ordering pages will stay up to help you to discover new authors and explore their fantastic books,” the statement said. “One More Page will be giving away free [advance reading copies] and swag with NoVa TEEN orders as long as supplies last!”

Photo via Kimberly Farmer/Unsplash

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Mardi Gras is approaching and throughout the weekend leading up to Tuesday (Feb. 25), several local businesses and eateries around town are holding festive events.

Tysons Reporter rounded up where and when to Mardi Gras celebrations around the Tysons area.

Vienna and Merrifield 

On Friday, Feb. 21, Kim Stryker, a George Mason professor, will discuss holiday traditions and their origins during Folklore Friday at Bards Alley Bookshop (110 Church Street NW). The event is set to run from 7 to 8 p.m. King cake and Mardi Gras beads will be supplied. All are welcome to dress up in fun and festive attire for this event.

The Mardi Gras Bunco Party, hosted by the Vienna Arts Society (243 Church Street NW), next Saturday (Feb. 29) invites people to play Bunco, a dice game played with groups of 12 or more. A donation of $22 is suggested and refreshments will be served, according to the event page. This event runs from 7 to 9 p.m.

Inca Social (2670 Avenir Place) is hosting a Carnival Celebration next Saturday from 7 to 10:30 p.m. The cover charge is $6 and includes an evening of dancing, drink specials and beads.

People looking for Mardi Gras-themed baked goods can visit Amphora Bakery in Vienna (405 W. Maple Ave) to purchase king cake or a variety of decorative treats, according to its website.

Falls Church

Foodies can participate in a free Free Mardi Gras Crawfish Eating Contest on Tuesday (Feb. 25) from noon to 10 p.m. The contest will begin at 6 p.m., but drink specials will be available all day. People can submit their names to become a contestant but participation is not guaranteed. People who place in the top three will receive gift cards.

The Fat Tuesday Beer Dinner at the Dogfish Head Alehouse (6220 Leesburg Pike) in Seven Corners offers guests a four-course meal for the price of $55. Admission includes beer pairings and a hurricane cocktail, according to the event page. This event begins at 7 p.m. on Tuesday.

Sol Roots Band with guest Ron Holloway will be performing Mardi Gras-themed music at JV’s Restaurant (6666 Arlington Blvd) on Tuesday beginning at 8:30 p.m. The groups will be performing a variety of funk, soul, deep blues, R&B and rock, according to the event page.

This Sunday (Feb. 23), JV’s Restaurant will be hosting another Mardi Gras celebration for the community. This event will feature a DJ and dancing from 4-7 p.m., the Facebook page said.

Photo via Kristina Evstifeeva/Unsplash

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The Weekly Planner is a roundup of interesting events coming up over the next week in the Tysons area.

We’ve scoured the web for events of note in Tysons, Vienna, Merrifield, McLean and Falls Church. Know of any we’ve missed? Tell us!

Tuesday (Jan. 21)

  • W&M Tysons Corner Book Club — 7:30 to 9 p.m. at Tysons Galleria (2001 International Drive) — The William and Mary Book Club invites alumni and friends to read “The Martian” by Andy Weir. People are encouraged to come early and grab food for the meeting.
  • Disruption & Innovation Club Happy Hour — 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Tower Club (8000 Towers Crescent Drive) — This event invites people from around the community to network and meet new people. Tickets are $15 for members and $35 for non-members. RSVP is required.

Friday (Jan. 24)

  • Casual Pint Grand Opening — 4 to 11 p.m. at the Casual Pint (6410 Arlington Blvd) –– Throughout the evening of the grand opening, The Casual Pint will be giving prizes away along with free growlers to the first 50 customers.

Saturday (Jan. 25)

  • Vienna Theatre Company: “Cinderella”— 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. at Vienna Community Center (120 SE Cherry Street)  This production is about an adaption of the Grimm Brothers’ classic fairy tale “Cinderella.” All ages are welcome to these matinee performances and tickets are $15 at the door.
  • Junior Girl Scout Workshop: Coding for Good – 3 to 6 p.m. at Code Ninjas (510 S. Washington Street) — This event invites local troops to learn about STEM and computer science while learning badges. Sign-up online is required.

Sunday (Jan. 26)

  • Lunar New Year  — noon to 4 p.m. at Tysons Corner Center (1961 Chain Bridge Road) — From Visit Fairfax, this event will feature the Fairfax Chinese Dance Troupe and the Jow Ga Shaolin Institute. This event is free and open to the public.
  • Tysons Corner Comic Book Show 2020 — 10 a.m. at DoubleTree Hotel (1960 Chain Bridge Road) — This event will feature comic books, pokemon and magic cards, toys, original art, vintage and present-day sports cards and sports memorabilia. Admission is $3 for adults and free for kids under 12.
  • McLean Chocolate Festival — 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the McLean Community Center (1234 Ingleside Ave) — Attendees can expect a children’s game room and live entertainment while enjoying sweets from local chocolatiers. Admission is $2, but kids ages 3 and under can attend for free.

Photo via Unsplash 

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The Weekly Planner is a roundup of interesting events coming up over the next week in the Tysons area.

We’ve scoured the web for events of note in Tysons, Vienna, Merrifield, McLean and Falls Church. Know of any we’ve missed? Tell us!

Wednesday (Jan. 15)

  • VSA Teas’n You Fundraiser — 11 a.m. until 9 p.m. at Teas’n You (8032 Leesburg Pike) — Proceeds from this fundraiser will benefit the Vietnamese Student Association at Virginia Tech. Anyone who stops by for bubble tea or a snack can show the event page or mention the VSA to donate a section of their purchase to the group.
  • Floral Arrangement Class — 7-9 p.m. at Northside Social (205 Park Avenue) — Galleria Florist will host a sip and design class taught by Alisa Rabinovich. People will learn to make a table arrangement. The class cost is $60 and includes a glass of wine.

Thursday (Jan. 16)

  • Non-Obvious Book Launch — 7-9 p.m. at La Sandia (7852 Tysons Corner Center) — Rohit Bhargava will release the next book in his series at this event. People are encouraged to wear yellow in support of the author and to celebrate his birthday, which happens to be on the day of the event.  Tickets range in price from free to $79, which includes signed copies and other swag.
  • Penny University: Preparing to Travel to Iceland — 7-8 p.m. at Caffe Amouri Coffee Roaster (107 Church Street NE) — People planning a trip to Iceland are welcome to join for a conversation that helps them prepare a packing list for their upcoming trip. Staff from REI will be at the event assisting anyone with questions. This event is free and people can RSVP for a spot.

Friday (Jan. 17)

  • Bailen at Wolf Trap — 8 p.m. at The Barns (1635 Trap Road) —  The group blends together folk-rock with pop influences to earn a spot on Sofar Sounds’ 2018 artist watch list. Tickets start at $22.

Saturday (Jan. 18)

  • Be Fit McLean– 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the McLean Community Center (1234 Ingleside Avenue) — This event brings together exhibitors from around the area and will teach community members how to lead a more healthy life and incorporate dance, fitness, mental health and better eating habits into their daily routine. This event is free.
  • Free Kettle Bell Class — noon to 1 p.m. at Functional Fitness (350 S. Washington Street) —  Every Saturday in January, Functional Fitness is hosting a free class for community members in order to promote wellness and allow people to try out the multi-functional workout.

Image via Bailen/Facebook

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The owner of Tysons Ballroom — who happens to be a former “Dancing With The Stars” contestant — became an author in 2020 with the release of his new kids’ book.

Garry Gekhman, who started dancing at age 6, published “Little Yura Loves to Dance” on Tuesday (Jan. 7) in hopes of inspiring a younger generation to pursue their passion for dance, according to a press release.

Earlier today (Jan. 9), he debuted his book with a reading for kids at the Falls Church-McLean Children’s Center, a non-profit preschool.

As a recipient of support from the local Rotary Club, which Gekhman is a member of, he said the children’s center seemed like the perfect location for the reading.

At various times throughout the morning, two classes of roughly 20 preschoolers gathered for storytime and a dance class taught by Gekhman and Suusar Ganbold, Tysons Ballroom’s manager. They learned the basics of dancing — including direction and poise — while interacting with their peers.

Gekhman also shared with the kids parts of a Youtube video adapted from his book.

The book’s storyline guides kids through the life of the main character Yura, the name people called Gekhman in Russia before he moved to the U.S.

Growing up, Gekhman said he struggled with his weight and felt like he didn’t fit in with his peers. Through dance, he managed to find his identity and overcome previous struggles and then decided to share his story with kids who might be dealing with the same issues.

“If you are passionate about something, you’ll achieve it,” Gekhman told Tysons Reporter. “It doesn’t matter how you look.”

Gekhman’s advice to young people: “Follow your passion, think big and start small.”

Gekhman moved to Virginia in 2007 and is now an award-winning dancer who has performed at the White House. He currently teaches Latin dance at his studio (8032 Leesburg Pike, Suite 201). Occasionally, he will also judge various competitions and help co-organize the Yuletide Ball Championships in D.C.

People interested in purchasing his book can find it online for $15.95.

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Local author Joe Jamaldinian began writing to inspire the younger generations to follow their dreams and explore new ambitions.

After the success of his first book “Bob Winging It,” he recently decided to write a second called “Bob In A Box.”

So far, Jamaldinian said the feedback has been fabulous.

“Bob In A Box” is about a penguin named Bob who leaves his comfort zone — or metaphorical box — to explore the world and discover the wonders beyond his comfort zone.

Jamaldinian decided to self-publish his second book after being disappointed in the services provided by his former publishing company.

The artist and writer began drawing penguins for fun because he thinks they are fun and silly animals, who don’t seem to take themselves too seriously.

While working at his previous job, people noticed Jamaldinian’s sketches and suggested that he take his creative talents to the next level.

As a parent himself, he said he understands the importance of kids’ passion for reading and exploration. He hopes Penguin Bob, the main character of the books, will allow kids to see themselves in the character and feel free to experiment with new hobbies and passions like writing or art.

Now, he attends craft fairs, markets and events where he can introduce his book to the community and potentially sell a few copies. Jamaldinian also volunteers around the area reading to kids at schools.

Anyone interested in purchasing a copy of either “Bob In A Box” for $18 or “Bob Winging It” for $15 can find the books on Amazon. Or, if purchased on the author’s website, Jamaldinian will personally sign the book and write a message for the recipient.

Instagram users can check out Penguin Bob cartoons on the social media app as well and purchase character prints.

Photo via Joe Jamaldinian

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The Weekly Planner is a roundup of interesting events coming up over the next week in the Tysons area.

We’ve scoured the web for events of note in Tysons, Vienna, Merrifield, McLean and Falls Church. Know of any we’ve missed? Tell us!

Tysons Reporter also complied a list of the upcoming holiday events, for those seeking festivities.

Monday (Dec. 23)

  • Christmas Drive-Thru Light Show — 7:15 to 9:30 p.m. at McLean Bible Church (8925 Leesburg Pike) — Community members are invited to drive through the area to see a collection of festive lights. This event is free.
  • Madeline’s Christmas” — 7:30 p.m. at Creative Cauldron, ArtSpace Falls Church (410 S. Maple Avenue) — This musical explores how Madeline helps her classmates and teacher when they are sick in bed on Christmas eve. Tickets are $30 for adults and cheaper tickets are available for kids, older adults and members of the military.

Saturday (Dec. 28)

  • 70’s Disco & Funk Dance Party — 7:30 p.m. until 2 a.m. at The Palladium (8453 Tyco Road) — Partygoers can dance to a variety of 70s’ music and enjoy performances from a DJ. Tickets start at $10 and can be purchased online.
  • “The Kindness Book” Story Time — 11 a.m. Barnes and Noble Booksellers at Tysons Corner Center — Families are welcome to join in a free story time featuring “The Kindness Book.” There will be activities following the event, but the event page did not specify what they will be.

Photo via Creative Cauldron/Facebook

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Get Back in the Book!” by Larry Issa has only been in circulation for less than a year but it’s already sold more than 1,500 copies around the Northern Virginia area.

Issa’s picture book is about a young boy named Danny who writes his own book but catches the characters trying to sneak out of the pages because they think the book is boring. Danny ends up teaching his creations the value of books and convinces them that their happy place is within their own story.

Issa told Tysons Reporter that he hopes the message resonates with kids, and they take away a deeper appreciation for literature.

“A lot of my family members are teachers, and one complaint is that reading levels are going down,” he said.

Issa, who is from the McLean area, said he wants to encourage kids around the area and globe to love literature just as much as he did as a kid.

All of the characters in the book are inspired by things he loves doing or what he wanted to be growing up. The dinosaur tends to be a popular character, but Issa said the astronaut is his personal favorite.

In November, Issa won the Moonbeam Children’s Book Award in first-place for the picture book category.

When it came to the book design and art, Issa approached British artist Emma Chadwick with an idea for a partnership after discovering her art portfolio on Instagram.

As a designer, Issa had a very distinctive plan for what he hoped the book would become and said that he and Chadwick worked well as a cohesive team after accepting the offer. They agreed that a darker color scheme would suit the story well since the book takes place on a school night in the child’s bedroom.

When not working as a professional designer, Issa spends a lot of his time performing readings to school kids and selling his books at local shops, markets and festivals.

As a self-publisher, Issa began giving advice to others who want to publish children’s books and began his new brand — Kalmus Books. He said some of his mentees are planning to publish their books under Kalamus in the future.

Issa told Tysons Reporter that the best advice he can give future authors is to just put themselves out there and start writing, adding that his book went through more than 25 rounds of edits before publication.

He currently coordinates with schools and local charities to give away copies of his book to students in need and seeking donation sponsors to follow in the footsteps of The Closet in Herndon, who recently purchased 100 copies.

People can email Larry Issa if they are interested in helping the cause.

“Get Back in the Book” is available in hard-cover and can be purchased in person at a variety of popups for $18.99 or online, for $21.

Issa said he made the copies slightly more expensive online because he wants to encourage the community to check out markets and book stores in-person.

Although he has received requests for digital and soft-cover copies, he said he doesn’t want to release them just yet because these formats weaken the storytelling experience.

“We are all about the aesthetics,” Issa said.

If anyone wants to meet Issa and purchase their own copy of the book signed on-site, they are welcome to stop by the holiday market in Tysons Corner Center, where he can usually be found during mall hours until Tuesday (Dec. 24), when the pop-up shop closes.

“Get Back in the Book” can also be purchased at Scrawl Books (11911 Freedom Drive).

Issa expects to publish another book soon.

He told Tysons Reporter that hints or “easter eggs” for the upcoming book can be seen in drawings from the main character in”Get Back in the Book.”

Images courtesy Larry Issa

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The Weekly Planner is a roundup of interesting events coming up over the next week in the Tysons area.

We’ve scoured the web for events of note in Tysons, Vienna, Merrifield, McLean and Falls Church. Know of any we’ve missed? Tell us!

Tysons Reporter also complied a list of the upcoming holiday events, for those seeking festivities.

Monday (Dec. 9)

  • NVTC Tech 100 Party — 6 to 8 p.m. at Ritz Carlton Tysons Corner (1700 Tysons Blvd) — This event invites community members involved with technology to network and enjoy drinks and food. The cost of the event ranges from $195-$235.

Wednesday (Dec. 11)

  • Holiday Cooking Party — 7 to 10 p.m. at McLean Community Center (1234 Ingleside Avenue) — Attendees will learn how to create recipes including festive fruits, veggies and desserts. Registration is $80 for the public and $65 for district residents. Participants must be over 18 years old.

Thursday (Dec. 12)

  • Tysons Women’s Business Book Club — noon to 1 p.m. at 1751 Pinnacle Drive #600 — This book club invites industry professionals to come network and enjoy a new book. Attendees are encouraged to bring business cards and a lunch or snacks to share. It is not necessary to read the book beforehand.
  • Holiday Happy Hour — 4 to 7 p.m. at Whole Foods (1635 Boro Place) — High Point Pub will host a happy hour with live music and drinks from Tory Pratt of Pratt Standard Cocktail Company.

Friday (Dec. 13)

  • “The R-Word Film” Screening — 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Capital One Bank (1680 Capital One Drive) — The McLean CapAbilities chapter will host this free event to educate the community on the lives of people with disabilities, using key characters in order to shift the conversation and societal views. Lunch will be provided and attendees will hear from the director and people highlighted in the film.
  • Vienna Town Council Holiday Reception — 4 to 6 p.m. at Town Hall (127 S. Center Street) — Community members are invited to celebrate the holidays with the Vienna Town Council. This event is free and registration isn’t required.
  • Live Nativity Scene — 6:15 to 7:45 p.m. at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (1325 Scotts Run Road) — This event will celebrate Christmas and the birth of Jesus with a nativity — including live animals petting zoo and actors. Cookies and hot cocoa will also be available.

Saturday (Dec. 14)

  • Another Silent Night – The Musical” — 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. at Columbia Baptist Church, The Sanctuary (103 W. Columbia Street) — This musical invites families to hear about an Army officer who returns from WW1 during the Christmas Season.  Childcare for kids ages 5 and under is available with preregistration. Tickets are $5 per person or up to $20 per family.

Photo via Ed Robertson/Unsplash

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