Shop Talk

Persiano Gallery Leaves Overflow Space

Persiano Gallery, which previously occupied two retail spaces on Market Street West in Kentlands, has now vacated one of these spaces. John Hashempour, owner of the décor shop and interior decorating business, said the second space was dedicated to overflow merchandise only.

“We have known since last year that we didn’t need that space anymore,” said Hashempour, “but we waited to empty it until the leasing company found new renters to use the space.”

Hashempour added that Persiano Gallery has no current need to find a new overflow space for merchandise.

The now-vacant space is owned by The Beatty Companies. Beatty representative Janet M. Bahmer, a representative for Beatty, responded to an inquiry from The Town Courier with this statement: “I am currently not at liberty to discuss the new tenants at this time.”

Turning Life into Fiction

Courts of Devon resident Donnell H. Watts has written a novel based on his own life growing up and living in the Washington, D.C., area. The book, “Destiny Deferred: A Love Story,” was published in October 2012 and is the first for Watts, who previously had only written poems and other short works.

Watts is the outreach director at Mosaic Church in Frederick, Md., and was used to writing newsletters for his Bible group.

Although the book is rooted in Christianity, “it’s not your average Christian novel,” said Watts. He warned that the book is riddled with the struggles people with character flaws face that can lead to such things as drug and pornography addiction. While the story is fictional, it is inspired by Watts’ experiences with love and family tragedy, as well as “the joys and heartaches of married and family life,” he said.

Watts said he got the idea for writing a novel five years ago when he and his family suffered a profoundly difficult time. “I went for a drive and asked God to help me change my life. [And I believe] God told me to write this book,” he said.

Although Watts self-published through Cross Books, he said he had to pass a rigorous review to ensure that his book upheld the values of the publishing house. “I was extremely excited [when the book passed muster] because I just thought Cross Books was perfect [for this], having published some of the Christian heavyweights [of literature.]”

The author believes his book is “relatable and has a realness to it” that will appeal to a wide audience across most age groups.

“Christian people have many of the same issues as secular people,” said Watts. “Because its about life.”

“Destiny Deferred: A Love Story” is available online, at some Barnes and Noble stores, and at several Christian bookstores. Watts will be featured on “Faith Debate” on Frederick news radio 930 FM at 8:30 a.m. in March 3, 10, 17 and 24.

Bits and Pieces

Cute Tips Nail Salon located at 349 Main Street in Kentlands, was recently named one of Montgomery County’s best nail salons by the Gazette newspaper. Cute Tips came in third place in the nail salon category in a “Best of Montgomery County” list released on Dec.19 in all Montgomery County editions of the Gazette. “We were surprised and excited [to hear the news,]” said Hollie Pham, owner of Cute Tips. Winners were chosen by online voting on the Gazette website. “The paper did call [when we were chosen,]” said Pham, “but at first I thought they were trying to sell me an ad!” A full list of winners can be seen at

Have you heard about Kentlands-Lakelands Compliments? The Facebook page description reads: “Following the model of a social project that was originally started by students at Queen’s University and continued at Columbia and Penn, Kentlands-Lakelands Compliments aims to spread joy to our community.” To participate, simply send a compliment or note of appreciation via a FB message or to Participants may remain anonymous as they praise neighbors for kindness and local businesses for a job well done. Additionally, if participants “follow” the page on Facebook, they too can be tagged if and when somebody pays them a compliment.

Local Realtor and Lakelands resident Mike Aubrey will soon have a new show on the cable channel HGTV. “Power Broker” is in production and set to debut this year with Aubrey as the host. Aubrey has previously appeared on HGTV shows “House Hunters” and “Real Estate Intervention.” The new show will follow Aubrey as he uses his negotiating skills to save home-buyers money on nice houses or houses that can easily be upgraded to be worth much more than its selling price.