Saturday, 18 May 2013


I've put the kettle on and opened the cookie jar as I have a special guest today. Shira Anthony has popped in to talk about Prelude, part of the Blue Notes Series, so I'm going to sit back and let her take the floor... enjoy.

Fictional Characters and Real Life

Thanks, Lisa, for hosting the Prelude Blog Tour today!  Thanks also for letting me talk about the fourth book in my Blue Notes Series of classical music themed gay romances, Prelude, which was just released by Dreamspinner Press on May 6th.  The Blue Notes Series  are spinoff novels, so the books can be read in any order.  Prelude is chronologically the first, even though it’s the fourth book in the series.

A few days after Prelude was released, a friend of mine posted a photo of a dangerously sexy violinist on Facebook.  Long hair, tattoos, and the kind of smolderingly intense eyes that just make you want to meld into a puddle of goo where you stand.  I figured he was one good-looking model.  Wrong!  My friend sent me a link to a video. (Check it out – it’s amazing!)  Not a model.  Try “good-looking and super talented crossover violinist” David Garrett.  It was one of those “holy crap!” moments.   Why?  Because other than the fact word has it David is straight, he could have literally walked off the pages of Prelude.  Let me explain...

Prelude is a story of apparent opposites.  David Somers, a world-renowned conductor who grew up in a wealthy New England family.  Sophisticated and a bit of a classical music purist, David meets violinist Alex Bishop when Alex fills in for an ailing soloist and plays with the Chicago Symphony under David’s baton.  Alex has tattoos, long hair, and is a popular crossover artist.  He plays Bach, Beethoven, and Mozart as easily as he plays the Stones or Led Zepplin.  Alex grew up as a foster kid on the rough Chicago streets and nearly died on them.  Underneath it all, Alex and David have the strongest bond: their love for music.  And that’s where the story starts:  when David hears Alex play.

Alex is a fictional character, obviously.  But I drew on my love of crossover violin music and specifically Jean-Luc Ponty, who I grew up listening to, to create Alex.  I’d never heard of David Garrett.  Which is why I was so stunned when I saw his photograph and then watched the video.  In Prelude, David Somers notices how comfortable Alex is with his audience, and how much he responds to their excitement when he plays for them.  That same intensity of connection between audience and performer is there when you watch David Garrett play.  Alex is an amazing violinist.  His tone is beautiful, and his sense of the music natural.  I see the same ability in David Garrett.  In spite of the fact that he’s rocking out to Led Zepplin or playing Vivaldi with a rock beat, David’s tone is beautiful and his technique incredibly solid.

So if you read Prelude, I suggest you take a look at one of David Garrett’s videos.  Enjoy the view (he’s stunning!), enjoy the sound, and enjoy the intensity of his focus.  That’s exactly what I had in mind when my co-author, Venona Keyes, and I wrote Prelude

If you haven’t read any of the Blue Notes Series, you can dive in with any story and in any order.  I hope you’ll enjoy reading them as much as I’ve enjoyed writing them.  Want to read an excerpt from Prelude? Click on this link (my website) and scroll down to the excerpt tab, or you can read a second excerpt on the Dreamspinner Press book page (same deal – scroll down and click the excerpt link). -Shira

PS:  Want to win some Blue Notes swag?  I’ll be giving away winner’s choice of a paperback or ebook of one of the Blue Notes novels as well as a Blue Notes Series t-shirt (winner’s choice of cover) at the end of the Blue Notes blog tour.  To enter, comment on this post and the other blog posts to win!  I’ll be drawing winners at the end of the blog tour.  If I have a lot of entries, I’ll add a few more prizes to sweeten the pot!

Summary:  World-renowned conductor David Somers never wanted the investment firm he inherited from his domineering grandfather. He only wanted to be a composer. But no matter how he struggles, David can’t translate the music in his head into notes on paper.
When a guest violinist at the Chicago Symphony falls ill, David meets Alex Bishop, a last-minute substitute. Alex’s fame and outrageous tattoos fail to move David. Then Alex puts bow to string, and David hears the brilliance of Alex’s soul.

David has sworn off relationships, believing he will eventually drive away those he loves, or that he'll lose them as he lost his wife and parents. But Alex is outgoing, relaxed, and congenial—everything David is not—and soon makes dents in the armor around David's heart. David begins to dream of Alex, wonderful dreams full of music. Becoming a composer suddenly feels attainable.
David’s fragile ego, worn away by years of his grandfather’s disdain, makes losing control difficult. When David’s structured world comes crashing down, his fledgling relationship with Alex is the first casualty. Still, David hears Alex’s music, haunting and beautiful. David wants to love Alex, but first he must find the strength to acknowledge himself.

NOTE: Each Blue Notes novel is a standalone story and books in the series can be read in any order.

Want to buy the Blue Notes Series books? You can find them all here:  

In her last incarnation, Shira Anthony was a professional opera singer, performing roles in such operas as Tosca, Pagliacci, 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 35’ catamaran at the Carolina coast with her favorite sexy captain at the wheel.

Thank you, Shira, and I wish you many, many sales which there will be, I have no doubt!
Well I don't know about you, but I am rushing hot-footed to my Kindle to buy Prelude!
Don't forget to comment to get your chance of participating in her wonderful giveaway - good luck!


  1. Thanks again, Lisa, for hosting me today!

  2. Thank you for guiding me to such a fantastic artist and I still LOVE reading Prelude. Great blog post. =}

    1. Isn't he amazing, Pat??? Of course he's straight (and he's real), but he's got that sex appeal and audience contact that just draws you in!

  3. When we saw David Garrett, as Shira said, we both exclaimed, ALEX!!
    Shira and I grew up in very different musical worlds--where she was trained early on for both violin and voice, I was raised on moving my body to the music through dance. We combined the talent of music and the physicality of that expression in Alex. In Prelude, David Somers stands, Alex dances. David Somers, through the music and Alex, takes those stilted first steps to experience the true joy and sensuality of the melody and the notes.

    Venona Keyes

    1. Yes - two very different men (at least on the surface). Underneath it all, though, they're soul mates at the very deepest level. XD

  4. Thank you for your great post. I'm enjoying the different insights, background information, and excerpts on each step of the Prelude blog tour!

    awindandbooks at gmail dot com

  5. Great post!


  6. I've read a couple of this series, which I've enjoyed and this one looks good too, so please include me in the draw. Thanks

  7. I have been wanting to read this series for a while. It is at the top of my wish list for when I have enough money to buy more books. Thank you for the opportunity to win.


  8. I have a gorgeous Melody Thief mug that holds my fountain pens. The covers are so lovely, they make excellent swag! And the stories...oh my! Thank you!
    brendurbanist @gmail. com

  9. Thanks for the post! That video is awesome! It is so cool to know there really could be an Alex out there somewhere! I love this series, congrats on the newest book!
    OceanAkers @