Guest Shira Anthony – The Blue Notes Series: Gifts of the Season

Today I have a first for this blog, a visitor! So I’d like to to welcome my friend and fellow Dreamspinner author Shira Anthony, talking about her new release Encore. And stick around to enter her blog tour giveaway.

Thank you, Rebecca, for hosting me! It’s been a busy holiday season so far, since I have two releases in my Blue Notes Series of music-themed gay romances: Encore (released November 11th) and Symphony in Blue (to be released on Christmas day). Symphony in Blue also happens to be my 10th Dreamspinner Press release, so I’m going all-out with a Blue Notes Holiday 2013 Tour giveaway contest featuring a grand prize of a Kindle loaded with e-books as well as other fun goodies (details at the end of the post).

The Blue Notes Series books, with the exception of Symphony in Blue, are standalone novels and can be read in any order. Encore shares themes in common with the other Blue Notes books: music and musicians, a heavy focus on character development, and long-term, committed relationships. And in Symphony in Blue, readers have an opportunity to revisit some old friends and share in the gift of developing love.

Symphony in Blue is the equivalent of a musical coda to Blue Notes, The Melody Thief, Aria, and Prelude, the first 4 books in the Blue Notes Series. Written to resemble a music CD, it’s complete with “liner notes” to remind the reader of the key players, and an emotional foreword by David Somers, the “composer” of the story. Symphony in Blue is full of what I call happily-ever-afters. Not the first time a couple says “I love you,” or even when a couple moves in together, but what happens when an established couple grows and changes with time and experiences.

I’ve never been a fan of insta-love. I was the kid who wanted to know what happened to Cinderella and her prince after they got married. When people talk about happily-ever-afters, I’m thinking years down the line, not wedding days. Maybe I wanted a road map for happiness. Maybe I just wanted more realism than I got from cookie-cutter Harlequin romances. It really doesn’t matter. What matters to me is that readers see what it is that makes the men in my stories want to stay together and how they grow after they tell each other “I love you.” Those are the books I wanted to read, and those are the books I write. Symphony in Blue is one of those books.

Looking for sexy hot romances with fluffy scenes? I think you’ll like the Blue Notes books. But if you’re also looking for something more—for something more real than Cinderfella and his prince? I think you’ll enjoy these stories about real men in real relationships. You can find all of my Dreamspinner Press books by clicking here. Want to read more about me and about my books, including free fiction and excerpts? Check out my website, www.shiraanthony.com.

Don’t forget to enter the Blue Notes Holiday 2013 Blog Tour giveaway by clicking here (Rafflecopter). There are plenty of ways to enter, and you can enter more than once by commenting, tweeting, buying books, and liking pages. I’ll be drawing winners on New Year’s Eve at midnight! Good luck! –Shira

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Excerpt (Symphony in Blue):

Symphony in Blue-build (1)

DAVID TAPPED his cellphone, shoved it in his pocket, and rubbed the bridge of his nose.

“Something ruffle the maestro?” Al ex grinned up at him from the couch, his bare feet tucked underneath him, a pile of staff paper scattered about the floor and coffee table. He’d printed out a score for a new composition and managed to knock it off the printer tray. Of course, all the page numbers at the bottom of the sheets were cut off. Damn thing was at least thirty pages and would be a nightmare to organize.

“Nothing that can’t be managed. Unlike your score.” David raised an eyebrow and Alex saw the ghost of a grin on David’s face. “You could just reprint it, you know.”

“What? And waste paper?”

“You’re stubborn,” David said as he picked up several of the pages and set them on the coffee table before joining Alex on the couch. When Alex said nothing, David leaned over and feathered several kisses over Alex’s neck. “Delightfully so, of course. But stubborn nonetheless.”

Alex sighed contentedly and pushed the rest of the music onto the floor. Fine. He’d reprint the damn thing. Later. “Who was on the phone?”

“Aiden.” David spoke the name with his lips so close to Alex’s ear that Alex nearly gasped. David’s voice just did that to Alex—that sexy baritone seemed to resonate through every part of his body. Alex was pretty sure David knew what it did to him too.

“Aiden? I thought he and Sam were in Australia.”

David pulled away and offered Alex a sardonic eyebrow. “Austria.” “Oh, come on!” Alex laughed. “You know I can hardly keep track of my own schedule. Now you expect me to keep up with his?”

“Not even the correct continent.” David went back to kissing him. “What was he calling about?” Anything to keep David focused on his neck.

“The party in Connecticut is off. They’re also postponing the civil ceremony in New York for now.”

Alex shot up off the couch. “What? But we’ve been planning the reception for six months now! It’s only two weeks away. What the hell happened? Are they okay? I mean…. Shit. You know what I mean.”

David smiled—a strange expression for someone who’d just learned that he’d wasted four months arranging the party to celebrate Aiden and Sam’s wedding. Caterers, musicians, guests, and a dozen different schedules to coordinate.

“Okay. Fess up. Why are you smiling?”

“Aiden and Sam are fine. They’re just postponing it.” David appeared entirely calm. Too calm. Happy, even?

“Postponing? They’ve been doing that for two years now.” “Three.”

“Fine. Three years. So why are you happy about it?” Alex pressed. Of course, David was yanking his chain, but he liked that. Anyone who thought David Somers didn’t have a sense of humor simply didn’t know him.

“I’m happy,” David said as his eyes brightened, “because there’s a good reason for it. In fact, there’s a wonderful reason for it.”

Alex laughed. “What reason would that be?”

Who might be the more appropriate way of say—” “David,” Alex warned.

“Graziella Michaela Redding.” “Graziella? You mean….”

“Mother and child doing quite well, I’m told.” David grinned outright this time.

“Cary and Antonio’s baby?”

“Born last night. Almost five pounds. Three weeks early but doing well.” David stood up and wrapped his arms around Alex’s waist. “A good reason to postpone a wedding, don’t you think?”

“The best.” Alex kissed David. “Should we plan a visit in a few weeks?”

“A few weeks?” David’s sly grin made Alex chuckle. “Just because we can’t have the party to celebrate doesn’t mean we can’t take advantage of the opening in everyone’s schedules.”

“What did you have in mind?”

“Thanksgiving in Milan. It’s been years since we’ve been able to get everyone together.”

“The villa?” David’s Italian villa was certainly large enough. “But—”

“Is that a problem for you? Last I looked at your schedule, your next performance is in Buenos Aires in three weeks.” David nipped at Alex’s earlobe.

“No… it’s not… ah…. Shit, David, I can’t think straight when you do that!” Alex shivered and closed his eyes. “And no. No problem for me. But didn’t you give the staff at the villa the entire month off?”

Alex knew David had completely forgotten about that particular detail. He frowned, then said blithely, “We’ll just have to do it ourselves. Jules and I can handle the cooking. You and Jason can get the placed opened up. Rachel can help you with the rooms.”

“You’re serious about this?”

“Am I ever not?” David pulled at Alex’s earlobe with his teeth. “I’ll call the travel agent and look into rebooking all the air travel.”

“Travel agent?”

Another kiss, a nip, and then: “The travel agent. Too complicated to handle that much rebooking online and you needn’t trouble yourself with that. Just call Jules and Jason and let them know we’ll meet them in Milan on Saturday. I’ll text them the flight information as soon as I have it.”

“Ah…. Okay. Sure. Jules and Jason.” Alex could handle that. He’d been meaning to call Jules to see how the Blue Notes album was coming along anyhow. He’d joined Jules and the other members of the trio on several of the tracks when he’d been in Paris three weeks before.

“Good.” David brushed his lips against Alex’s. “And one more thing.”

Hmm?”Focus,Bishop,focus!

“This.” David pushed Alex onto the couch and began to unbutton his shirt. “First things first. Always.”

******

Buy Links:

Encore_headerbanner

Encore: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=4353&cPath=55_484

SymphonyinBlue_headerbanner

Symphony in Blue: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=4479&cPath=55_484

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Blue Notes Holiday 2013 Blog Tour stops:

November 11th (release day – Encore): Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words (Melanie Marshall)

November 12th: Live Your Life, Buy the Book

December 13th: Lily Sawyer’s Blog

November 14th: Michael Rupured’s Blog

November 15th: Joyfully Jay (Blue Notes Cover Art – Interviews with the Artists)

November 18th: Elin Gregory’s blog

November 22nd: Aisling Mancy’s blog

November 26th: Andrew Q. Gordon’s blog

December 6th: Oscar’s Bruised Petals (Sandra Garcia’s blog)

December 10th: Brilliant Disguise (Tali Spencer’s blog)

December 16th: Rebecca Cohen’s blog

December 20th: Purple Rose Teahouse (Charlie Cochet’s blog)

December 23rd: Mrs. Condits and Friends

December 25th: Symphony in Blue Release Day Party at Melanie Marshall’s Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

December 26th: Book Suburbia

December 27th: Helen Pattskyn’s blog

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