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Friday, November 2, 2012

Real Men, Realistic Love

First off, let me share a secret: the Blue Notes Series is a bit of a personal fantasy of mine.   A classical music universe (a bit of jazz and rock, too), beautiful men, romance, and happily-ever-afters.  Then again, I grew up with lots of romantic fantasies.  No surprise, then, that when I finally decided to try writing a novel, it was a romance. 
I grew up with music.  My mother, sister and I all had careers as professional musicians.  I started out as a violinist and, in college, discovered opera.  I sang opera professionally for more than ten years.  So when I was trying to figure out what to write about for my second MM novel, I thought about what I knew and what I loved.  From there, it was an easy decision. 
 Writing the books, however, was more of a challenge, because each of them deals with issues I myself have had some experience with as a musician: stage fright, long-distance relationships, and letting go so that you can allow your musical soul to shine through, among other things.  Difficult issues for me to face, even more difficult to write about.  And while I’m not a gay man, most of the men I met while I was singing were gay men.  Wonderful men, some of whom I still count as my closest friends.

Each Blue Notes Series novel is a freestanding story and the books can be read in any order, although the main characters in one book may appear as secondary characters in another.  The first book in the series, “Blue Notes,” is the story of former pianist Jason Greene, who escapes the pain of a failed relationship by running to Paris.  There, he meets a jazz violinist, Jules Bardon, and learns about himself:  what makes him happy and how to let go of the pain he’s been harboring for decades.
The second Blue Notes novel, “The Melody Thief,” is the story of cellist Cary Redding, a former child prodigy, sought after by conductors the world over.  Underneath the veneer of success, however, Cary hides a world of pain.  He escapes his past by drinking too much and seeking out anonymous sexual encounters in seedy bars.  But Cary’s dual life comes crashing down around him when he’s rescued by lawyer Antonio Bianchi on a deserted Milan street.  With Antonio’s help, Cary is able to overcome his past and become the man he wants to be.

The third novel in the series, “Aria,” to be published December 24, 2012, is the story of Sam Ryan, a lawyer, and opera singer Aiden Lind.  Sam and Aiden are instantly attracted to each other when they first meet in New York City.  But Sam is still grieving the sudden death of his partner of seven years, and Aiden gets an offer to sing in Europe.  They go their separate ways, only to meet again, five years later.  But managing a relationship in the face of a career where you are nearly always on the road is a challenge for both men.  And Sam hasn’t quite gotten over the pain of his loss, either.  Together, they must find a way to work with Aiden’s jet-setting lifestyle and for Sam to move on from his grief.

The one recurring theme of the Blue Notes Series novels, other than music, is the importance of relationships to character growth.  Although there certainly are more fanciful plot twists in the novels, at their heart, they are stories of real human relationships and feelings.  Real men.  Real relationships.  Real emotions.  Many of the books are traditional romances, with a happily ever after (HEA) at the end.  Others, however, have the HEA earlier on, and focus on the growth of love and overcoming obstacles to love after the HEA.

Each story in the series celebrates romance and love between men, and each story embraces the creative spirit in all of us. –Shira

In her last incarnation, Shira Anthony was a professional opera singer, performing roles in such operas as ToscaPagliacci, and La Traviata, among others. She’s given up TV for evenings spent with her laptop, and she never goes anywhere without a pile of unread M/M romance on her Kindle.

Shira is married with two children and two insane dogs, and when she’s not writing, she is usually in a courtroom trying to make the world safer for children.  When she’s not working, she can be found aboard a 30’ catamaran at the Carolina coast with her favorite sexy captain at the wheel.

Shira can be found on Facebook, Goodreads, or on her web site, You can also contact her at

Blurb:  Cary Redding is a walking contradiction. On the surface he’s a renowned cellist, sought after by conductors the world over. Underneath, he’s a troubled man flirting with addictions to alcohol and anonymous sex. The reason for the discord? Cary knows he’s a liar, a cheat. He's the melody thief.
Cary manages his double life just fine until he gets mugged on a deserted Milan street. Things look grim until handsome lawyer Antonio Bianchi steps in and saves his life. When Antonio offers something foreign to Cary—romance—Cary doesn’t know what to do. But then things get even more complicated. For one thing, Antonio has a six-year-old son. For another, Cary has to confess about his alter ego and hope Antonio forgives him.
Just when Cary thinks he's figured it all out, past and present collide and he is forced to choose between the family he wanted as a boy and the one he has come to love as a man.
Want to read an 18+ excerpt?  Click here and then on the link, scroll down and click the “excerpt” tab.

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