Tale of Two Keyboards: Mystery/Suspense Author Tamara Ward

  Please welcome our dear friend Tamara Ward, Amazon Bestselling Mystery and Romantic Suspense Author. Her new novel, Private Deception, featuring spunky female  sleuth Jade O’Reilly is already rocking the charts.

But the computer keyboard isn’t the only one she knows well. Take it away, Tamara . . .


I’m envious of dancers, being able to move like liquid music, physically translating emotion into meaning other people can read with their eyes. But I’ve got a secret art in my back pocket.

Like Alicia and Roy Street, in addition to being a writer, I’ve got experience in another artistic medium, too. I’m no dancer; I’m a musician. I went to college on a piano scholarship. 

While writing is my passion, I used to be torn between my love for ink and paper and my love for music. And translating emotion into music – burning up those ivory keys – brought me joy and fulfillment. But I ultimately focused on writing. And over time my fingers became out of practice, clumsy and fumbling. With the birth of my children, the little, occasional time I used to spend practicing piano evaporated even more.

 I think this is a common story: Sometimes old skills and passions, whether they be an art or simply something we enjoy doing – taking bubble baths or quilting or hiking – take a back seat as life evolves. Spending time with my family and writing are more important to me than playing piano. 

But recently my grandmother died, and my mother requested that I record a song to be played at the funeral. The song, Clair de Lune by Claude Debussy, is one that my grandmother played on the piano when her own mother was on her deathbed. Something about the moon (lune) has tied together generations of women in my family. And though separated by time and distance, when we look at the moon, we remember each other. 

So I got out the old Clair de Lune sheet music my grandmother gave me so long ago, and I spent a few hours practicing the chords and runs. And I found that, though my skills were rusty, with a bit of polish the connection between fingertips and piano keys, written notes and the meaning behind the music, still shines.

Do you have a talent or skill that you’ve left behind? 


Private Deception is available on kindle and in paperback

You can also check out her two shorts — 

Jade O’Reilly and the Mysterious Musician  

Jade O’Reilly and the Ice Queen


24 thoughts on “Tale of Two Keyboards: Mystery/Suspense Author Tamara Ward

  1. Thanks so much for inviting me to your blog, Alicia and Roy! I love your books… and your friendship.

  2. Don’t know what happened to my last comment. I have arthritis in both knees and I love to cook, so I haven’t been able to cook as much lately. I’m trying to get back to it. I love cookbooks and trying new recipes. I’m planning to try pecan chicken and Spanish rice and beans. (Oh, that reminds me I forgot to tell one of my friends something about a Spanish nickname — funny how you think of stuff while you’re doing other stuff — LOL). Tamara, loved your excerpts for the short stories, especially the line “This is supposed to be an office, not a stand-up comedy club.” When I go to work in the morning with my friendly cab driver, I feel like I’m at a stand-up comedy club. I’m always LOL!

  3. Well hello, Tamara.

    And isn’t this a lovely site? Love the new covers, Alicia & Roy.

    So you’re a pianist. Now I find all of this really interesting because like Alicia & Roy I danced. But I also play the violin and flute. I must admit I haven’t touched an instrument in years. I suspect music and writing are connected. Must the rhythm and the timing!

    Great post.

    • Hi, Christine! Thanks for your kind words about our site and the new covers.

      Not surprised to hear you do music as well as dance. Artists all seem to flourish in more than one area. I (Alicia) often think how similar creating a novel is to choreography.

    • Fancy seeing you here, C.C.! 😀 You know, if we ever get together, we’ll have to play a duet. And Alicia and Roy can dance. Can you dance and play at the same time?!

      • Haha! Er, no. I can jig about a bit to an Irish medley but that’s about it! I used to be able to sing too. But it’s been a while, probably more like caterwauling!

  4. What a wonderful story, Tamara, and a fabulous talent to have! My daughter took up piano a few years ago and I love to hear her playing. What a beautiful song you played for your grandmother!

    • Thanks Christy! Music is a lot of fun to share. My mother played piano also, but stopped when I was a young girl. I hope your daughter continues to play – there’s nothing like music!

  5. Me too, Tamara. I grew up playing the piano, but children and work and eventually writing filled up my time, so the piano lagged forgotten in a corner collecting dust. I recently gave it to my oldest son for his recording studio and I miss it! Now that I have some time to play it again, and an empty house so no one can hear me practice, I long to sit down and pound out a song on those keys.

    Enjoy your piano. I’ll be thinking of you playing it!

    • Oh no! Do you know anyone who has a piano you could visit? My favorite time to mess around on the piano is when I’m waiting for someone to arrive at my house. I’ve got everything ready and don’t want to make a mess in any room, so I fiddle around a bit on the ivories.

      Well, at least your piano is going to good use.

  6. Wow! I’m impressed, Tamara. I’m impressed with the comments, too. All the talent — just wow. I wish I could dance – too klutzy. I wish I could play music or sing — couldn’t carry a tune in a bucket, no rhthym. Although – I thought of an idea for lyrics to a song so we’ll see how that goes. Other than writing, I don’t think I have any major talents. Unless you count being able to tell when someone is lying. I got really good at that doing my day job for the past 20 years. 😉

    • Being able to tell when someone is lying is a very good talent. I’m fairly gullible! But sometimes, at the end of the day, I think that while music might brighten a moment of someone’s life, what you, Rhonda, did (do?) for a day job really can completely change someone’s entire life – and not just a moment.

  7. It’s so nice to learn a bit more about you, Tamara. Music and art are part of my every day life too, so I can relate. I am an artist as well – I draw and paint. My husband plays classical guitar. Art is our life and we like it that way. But I do admire people who can play music. I tried the guitar a long time ago and found it really complicated. I so enjoyed reading this.

    • And when you play guitar, you get those callouses on your finger tips. Youch! Drawing and painting – that takes a lot of talent and patience! My grandmother painted. Some of her landscapes hang in my rooms. She also painted ceramic figurines and was obsessed with clowns. (I don’t much like clowns, though.)

  8. I always wanted to learn the piano, but didn’t happen. I did a LOT of drawing when I was younger and thought I might even go to school for that, but in the end I realized I had talent for copying other images, but not creating my own originals. With writing, I can create my own and I love it. I have no patience for drawing anymore, but my 10 yr old daughter has an amazing talent to create original works (even at age 5 she was noticeably good).

    Very cool you were able to play for your grandma, for your mom. 🙂

    • Thanks, Stacey. I tried to draw and wasn’t even good at copying! It’s interesting to watch our kids and wonder if they’ll be creative and how their talent will manifest. I think my 3YO is very musical. My 6YO? He says his favorite subject is writing but that he wants to be a scientist. Well, he’s got a few years to decide what he’s going to study in college, I hope! 😉

  9. Wow, what a lot of talent there is in these comments! I’m the only one of my family who doesn’t play a musical instrument, but I was a decent singer back in the day… Now I just do it to torture my dogs.
    I enjoyed your post Tamara! Cheers!

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