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GUEST POST & GIVEAWAY: First Comes Marriage by Shira Anthony

First Comes Marriage by Shira Anthony

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Buylinks: Dreamspinner: Amazon: All Romance: Barnes & Noble

Thank you, Because Two Men, for hosting the First Comes Marriage book tour! For those readers who may not already know, First Comes Marriage is the second book in the brand new Dreamspun Desires line of gay category romances from Dreamspinner Press. Be sure to read to the bottom of the post for an excerpt from the book, as well as the Rafflecopter giveaway. You could win a dozen red roses for your sweetheart or yourself!

First Comes Marriage is available from Dreamspinner Press! You can buy it alone, or you can subscribe to the Dreamspun Desires line and get two books a month at a significant discount (ebook and paperback). Read down for an excerpt and don’t forget to enter the giveaway! –Shira

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Blurb:

Their marriage was supposed to be all business….

When struggling novelist Chris Valentine meets Jesse Donovan, he’s interested in a book contract, or possibly a date. The last thing Chris expects is a marriage proposal from New York City’s most eligible bachelor!

Jesse’s in a pinch. To keep control of his company, he has to marry. So he has valid reasons for offering Chris this business deal: in exchange for living in a gorgeous mansion for a year, playing the doting husband, Chris gets all the writing time he wants and walks away with a million-dollar payoff. Surely Chris can handle that. He can handle living with the most handsome and endearing man he’s ever met, a man he immediately knows he wants in the worst way and can’t have. Or can he?

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Excerpt from Chapter Six:

Now, standing in the conference room of Windview Enterprises’ corporate headquarters near South Ferry in Manhattan, one of the matching platinum bands Jesse had bought for them in his pants pocket, Chris wondered if he’d wake up from the dream. The floor-to-ceiling windows looked out over Wall Street and the East River through the forest of high-rise buildings.

“Do you, Jesse Chase Donovan, take Christopher James Valentine to be your husband, in love and in friendship, until you are parted by death?” the judge asked.

“I do.” As Jesse slipped the ring on Chris’s finger, he met Chris’s gaze with such intensity that for an instant, Chris could almost forget the entire ceremony was a ruse to ensure the future of Windview remained firmly in Jesse’s control. Damn the man for being so attractive. Damn him for being a nice guy, because that was the worst part of it. And the part that had you agreeing.

“And do you, Christopher James Valentine, take Jesse Chase Donovan to be your husband, in love and in friendship, until you are parted by death?”

Chris swallowed hard and prayed he didn’t look as incredibly nervous as he felt. “I do.” His hand shook as he took Jesse’s hand and put the ring on his finger.

“Congratulations, Chris and Jesse,” the judge said.

Chris caught Val’s eye for a split second, and he half expected her to urge him to kiss Jesse. But it was Jesse who took charge and blindsided Chris with a kiss.

It started sweetly enough, just Jesse’s lips against his, but instead of releasing Chris, Jesse pulled him tighter against him and pressed his tongue into his mouth. Jesse tasted fucking amazing. Chris didn’t hesitate—their tongues tangled and danced. This close, Jesse smelled good and felt even better. Chris was barely aware of slipping his hands around Jesse’s back before resting them on lean hips. He didn’t think twice as his body and Jesse’s responded in kind.

Someone giggled—Chris recognized Val’s voice—and Jesse pulled abruptly away. Their eyes met for a split second, and Chris thought he saw a mixture of desire and surprise in Jesse’s deep blue eyes. The next thing Chris knew, Val had thrown her arms around him and only his racing heart and tingling lips told him he hadn’t imagined the entire thing.

“Oh, Chris,” Val cooed. “You really did it!”

“Yeah” was the only response Chris could manage. He was still thinking about Jesse’s mouth.

“I guess I was wrong about him being straight,” she whispered mischievously.

Chris was thrilled when Terry grabbed him in a bear hug, because he had no idea how to respond to Val’s comment. He also wasn’t sure if he should be pissed off with Jesse for the show. He supposed if this was going to work, Jesse needed to make the marriage look real. Still, how difficult would it have been to warn Chris that he had that up his sleeve?

~~~~

All about Shira

Shira Anthony is a complete sucker for a happily-ever-after, and rarely reads or writes a story without one. Never a fan of instalove, Shira likes to write stories about real men with real issues making real relationships work.

In her last incarnation, Shira was a professional opera singer, performing roles in such operas as “Tosca,” “Pagliacci,” and “La Traviata,” among others. Her Blue Notes Series is loosely based upon her own experiences as a professional musician.

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 36’ catamaran at the Carolina coast with her favorite sexy captain at the wheel. 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.

Interested in hearing Shira sing? Here’s a link to a live performance of Shira singing an aria from Puccini’s “Tosca”: http://www.shiraanthony.com/wp-conten…

You can subscribe to Shira’s monthly newsletter for updates, free fiction, and subscriber-only contests here: http://www.shiraanthony.com/newsletter/

~~~~

Where you can find Shira

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/shira.anthony
Goodreads: 
http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4641776.Shira_Anthony
Twitter: @WriterShira
Website: 
http://www.shiraanthony.com
E-mail: 
shiraanthony@hotmail.com

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Giveaway:

First Comes Marriage is all above love and romance, and Shira’s grand prize is a dozen red roses for your sweetheart (or whoever you think deserves it!). First prize is a $10 Dreamspinner Gift Certificate.

Click here to enter the Rafflecopter

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Blog Tour Information

First Comes Marriage Blog Tour

 

 

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INTERVIEW, EXCERPT & GIVEAWAY: Running with the Wind by Shira Anthony

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Running With the Wind is the 3rd book and final book in the Mermen of Ea series.

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Blurb

Sequel to Into the Wind. The series must be read in order.

With the final confrontation between the island and mainland Ea factions looming, Taren and Ian sail with Odhrán to investigate a lost colony of merfolk in the Eastern Lands. Upon their arrival, the King of Astenya welcomes them as friends. Odhrán, however, isn’t so quick to trust the descendent of the man who held him prisoner for nearly a decade, especially now that he has someone to cherish and protect—the mysterious winged boy he rescued from the depths.

Armed with the knowledge he believes will save the Ea, Taren returns to the mainland. With Ian at his side, Taren convinces Vurin that their people must unite with their island brethren before it’s too late. When Seria and his men attack, Taren must call upon the ancient power of the rune stone to protect his comrades. But using stone’s immeasurable power commands a hefty price—and Ian fears that price is Taren’s life.

Interview

Today I’m happy to be interviewing Shira Anthony author of Running with the Wind, the final installment in the Mermen of Ea Series from Dreamspinner Press. Hi Shira, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself, your background, and your current book.

Thanks so much for hosting me! I’m so excited about the release of the last Mermen of Ea book. For those who may not already know, I’m a former opera singer (you can hear a live recording of me singing here, if you’re interested) turned lawyer and author. I work as public sector attorney doing child advocacy, and not only do I work full-time, when I’m not working I pretty much spend every waking hour writing.

Into the Wind is the final installment in the Mermen of Ea Series. The series is high fantasy with pirates and mermen shifters in the tradition of the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Romance and adventure on the high seas with magic, eternal love, and the future of an entire civilization at stake.

Talk to us about your characters in this book. What makes them unique?

Most of the main characters are magical creatures who can shift from human to mer-form at will. They live on land as humans, but they must be near the water so they can transform from time to time or they die.

What was one of the most surprising things you learned in getting your book from start to publish?

This was my first sequel series (books tell on long story arc and must be read in order). I quickly learned that I had a lot of information to keep track of, and that unless I kept a pretty good inventory of the ideas that run through all three books, I’d forget them! I started keeping notes about future stories as I wrote the first book in the series. I knew what would happen at the end of the series, and some of the important events along the way, but as I wrote that first book, most of the other two books became clear to me.

Have you ever gone to a convention? If so, how was it? If not, do you think it’s something you’d like to do in the future?

I love conventions! I’ve been to quite a few. This year I’ve already been to Romantic Times in Dallas and Animazement in Raleigh. I’m headed to Yaoicon in San Francisco and Gay Romance Literature Retreat in San Diego this fall. I can’t wait!

I love conventions in part because I enjoy spending time with other writers and learning about the business and the craft of writing. But the best part (other than the great parties and dinners out)? Getting to meet my readers. Writers really work in a vacuum, and meeting people who read and enjoy my books helps keep me motivated to keep writing.

Would you like to be a full-time writer?

Honestly, I already am a full-time write, at least if you look at how much time I spend writing. But I also work full-time. But if you’re asking if I’d like to quit my job and only write, that’s a tougher call. A few years ago, I might have said yes. But I love my job as a public sector lawyer and I don’t want to quit. I’m honestly not sure if I did quit my day job that I’d write more. I think I’d find it more difficult to push myself to meet writing deadlines if I had so much time on my hands!

Design the ultimate pizza.

Thin crust, just a hint of sauce, with a mixture of cheeses including ricotta, mozzarella, goat cheese, parmesano, and romano. On the top some thinly sliced tomatoes, some roasted garlic cloves, some capers, and some anchovies. Crap, now my stomach is rumbling!

 

Excerpt

THE men who dragged Taren from the ship’s hold shoved him so hard into the captain’s quarters that he nearly fell face-first on the floor. His hands were tied behind his back. He’d been given water, although his throat was still parched. His belly growled. How long had it been since he’d awoken on the deck of the ship? He’d been locked away since he’d regained consciousness. He feared for the Sea Witch and her crew more than for his own safety. He prayed his shipmates had made it through the tempest unharmed.

In spite of his pathetic state, the ship and the men who manned her felt oddly familiar to Taren. He knew he hadn’t met them before, of course, but the sensation was strong. Regardless, the sense of familiarity had not improved the conditions in which he’d been kept since his capture. He felt relieved to be freed from the darkness of the ship’s hold, if only temporarily.

Through the large windows at the back of the room, Taren could see it was nighttime. He’d lost track of the days in the darkness. A nearly full moon illuminated the room, enabling Taren to make out a desk of carved wood, a simple table covered with maps, and several chairs. In the corner of the room was a large bed, also carved. The quarters were spartan, immaculate, and revealed nothing about their occupant.

“Leave us. And unbind him.” By the dim light, Taren struggled to make out the features of the man to whom the rough, commanding voice belonged.

“But Captain,” one of Taren’s captors protested. “The Council will want to know why he’s—” “Leave us, Seria,” the captain snapped with obvious irritation. “The Council has no jurisdiction here. My men and I can handle him without your help.”

“As you wish.” From the tone of his voice, Taren judged the man none too pleased to be dismissed.

The leather strap around his wrists removed, Taren brought his numb hands together and massaged them as the men left. “Do not think that you can run,” the captain warned, perhaps sensing Taren’s thoughts. “My men are stationed outside the door, and I am more than capable of killing you without their help.”

The captain drew closer, and Taren could make out his features at last. What he saw surprised him. He had thought the man far older, when in fact he appeared to be only a few years Taren’s senior. The same age, perhaps, as Bastian, although his body was far broader and he stood even taller than Taren himself. Taren could not help but marvel at the bright green of the man’s eyes and the handsome edge of his strong jaw. For a moment he wondered if he’d seen Ian before. There was something familiar in the intensity of his gaze, something that stirred not only Taren’s loins but also his heart.

Fool! He holds the power to kill you, and yet all you can do is admire his appearance? Bastian was right. You’re a wanton, insatiable creature.

“What is your name, man, and how do you come to be here?” the captain demanded, his expression hard with impatience.

“I am Taren. Taren Laxley. I know not how I came to be here.” He still remembered nothing after he had lashed the rope about Fiall’s waist.

The edge of the captain’s mouth turned upward in a sneer. “Taren?”

Taren said nothing but met the other man’s gaze and held it, unafraid.

“I am Ian Dunaidh, captain of the Phantom.” He spoke the words with little emotion, but Taren thought he saw a flash of pride in Ian’s eyes.

Ian Dunaidh? Again that name. Taren struggled to remember where he’d heard it before. Then it came back to him—the conversation he’d had with Bastian, not long before Taren had been lost at sea. He remembered the hatred in Bastian’s eyes when he’d spoken of Ian. What had Bastian said? Rider and this man had been schoolboys together, but Ian had betrayed Rider or perhaps broken his heart? But how could that be? Rider was a man well into his forties, but this man appeared far younger. Still, knowing they were bitter rivals, Taren became even more determined to keep secret his connection to the Witch and her crew.

“Where did you come from?” Ian asked when Taren did not speak.

“I… I don’t know.” Taren knew Ian wouldn’t believe it. He didn’t care. He would not endanger the crew of the Sea Witch, even if it meant his life.

Ian laughed. “You lie.”

The ship lurched with a strong gust of wind and Taren, weakened from lack of food and thirst, stumbled back against the bulkhead and slipped down. Ian moved to steady Taren, pulling him up with a strong arm around Taren’s waist. This close, Taren could smell the captain’s musk and feel his breath upon his cheek. He responded to the rough contact in spite of himself, his cock filling and pressing against Ian’s muscled thigh.

Their eyes met. Ian appeared momentarily at a loss, Taren’s touch seeming to burn him. Taren knew he should attempt to free himself from Ian’s grasp, but—to his shame and dismay—he didn’t want the contact to end.

Ian turned to Taren and parted his lips but seemed unable to speak.

Without thinking, Taren leaned into Ian until their mouths touched. For an instant Ian seemed to hesitate, then took Taren’s lips with obvious hunger, kissing Taren hard as he probed the warmth of Taren’s mouth with his tongue. Ian’s breaths came in stutters and Taren moaned. His tongue danced around Ian’s with equal fervor. Gods, how he wanted this man!

When Ian finally pulled away, Taren was left gasping for breath, dizzy. Even Bastian had not aroused him thus. Ian seemed to hold some power over him that he was incapable of fighting. He couldn’t understand it—Ian Dunaidh was his captor and Rider’s enemy. Even so, Taren felt naked before him. The remnants of his tattered clothes did nothing to cover his body from Ian’s piercing gaze. He also felt a sudden pang of guilt at the thought of Rider and Bastian. Not that they’d ever spoken of what might happen if Taren stayed with them after his three years of service were complete, but didn’t he owe them his body, for at least that long?

Ian too appeared taken aback by what had transpired between them. His face appeared flushed, his brow dotted with sweat. “What…?” He stepped backward, leaving Taren barely able to stand but for the cabin wall supporting him.

“Who are you?” This time Ian’s voice was softer, any anger seemingly replaced by something approaching wonder.

“I-I told you who I am.” Taren wished he sounded more confident, but Ian left him ill at ease. In spite of the venom he’d heard in Bastian’s words when he’d spoken of the Phantom’s captain, Taren wanted to tell Ian everything, if only to feel his body once more pressed against his own and taste his mouth again.

“Who were your parents?” Ian appeared to have regained his self-control. He straightened up to his full height and did not move to touch Taren again.

“I don’t know. I never knew them.” Taren touched his lips, which still felt warm from Ian’s kiss. Then Taren added, almost without thinking, “What do you care?”

Ian appeared to consider the question. “Just curious,” he said at last, his tone dismissive.

Someone knocked on the door and one of the men peered inside. “Everything all right, Captain?”

“Everything’s fine.” Ian barely looked at the man.

“Shall I return the prisoner to the hold?”

“No.” Ian did not hesitate. “He will stay here with me.”

“Sir?” The sailor appeared shocked.

“He will stay with me. Have the cabin boy prepare a bed for him. Post a guard at my door.”

“Yes, sir!” The man turned and left, sparing a frown for Taren.

“Do you intend to keep me here as your slave?” In truth, the idea of submitting to Ian held more than a little appeal for Taren, although he was far too proud to admit it.

“No.” It was not the answer Taren had expected. “You will sleep here. That is all.”

Taren felt shame to realize this answer disappointed him. On the other hand, being in the captain’s cabin might prove useful. Here, he’d have better access to the upper decks of the ship. With a little luck, he might be able to escape.

Ian narrowed his eyes as he said, “If you attempt to escape, I will lock you in the hold once more.”

Taren averted his gaze. Can he read my thoughts?

Several men entered a few moments later with a bedroll and a few extra blankets.

“Bind him. See that he’s bathed,” Ian said. “If he fights you, return him to the hold.”

“Yes, sir.”

“And see that he gets some food. Nothing too heavy. Gruel or soup.”

“Aye, sir.”

Ian nodded, then quickly left the cabin and a very surprised Taren behind.

IAN stood at the bow of the ship, focused on the water. The moon had set and taken with it the last traces of purple and red that had colored the clouds. He had been standing here for nearly an hour, lost in thought. Only now did he take heed of his surroundings.

Taren. The name was foreign to his lips. Not a name given to those of his people. And yet he’d repeated it now more times than he cared to admit. He couldn’t deny what he had sensed when they’d kissed. He is one of us. Was it possible Taren did not know? Ian had sensed no lie when he’d claimed not to know his parents, although Ian sensed deceit when Taren claimed not to know where he’d come from.

He doesn’t remember how he got here. That was also the truth. The nearest ship had been days away—they had received no reports of other vessels in the area—and if by some chance Taren had survived a shipwreck as a result of the great storm, surely there would have been debris to accompany him. The crew said he’d been found on the surface of the waves. With nothing to keep him afloat. A normal man would have perished. Much as Ian wished there were another explanation, there wasn’t. Taren was no normal man. But why had he sensed the truth of Taren’s birthright only when he’d touched him?

Ian also couldn’t deny the way his body responded to the boy, couldn’t deny that for a moment he’d been tempted to do more than kiss him. What the devil was wrong with him? All Ea were dual-natured, animal and man, but only adolescents new to their Ea form lacked self-control.

Why did you kiss him? Ian stroked his hand over his lips, recalling the feel of Taren’s mouth, his taste. Like the ocean, wild and vast. Something in Taren’s kiss had stirred Ian’s other nature. Even now, Ian felt the need to dominate the boy. And yet, along with the primal hunger, there was something more—something strange and equally as wonderful as the powerful attraction. Familiarity.

 

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Giveaway

Rafflecopter Prize:

December Diamonds Wedding Mermen Ornament (or a free download of the audiobook version of Stealing the Wind for non U.S. Residents)

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Click here or on the image to enter the Rafflecopter.

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About the author

In her last incarnation, Shira was a professional opera singer, performing roles in such operas as “Tosca,” “i 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 36’ catamaran at the Carolina coast with her favorite sexy captain at the wheel.

Where to find the author:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/shira.anthony

Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Shira-Anthony/177484618974406

Twitter: https://twitter.com/WriterShira

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/anthony0564/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4641776.Shira_Anthony

Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+ShiraAnthony/posts

Tour Dates & Stops

Banner300x2501-Jun

Elisa – My Reviews and Ramblings

2-Jun

Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words

3-Jun

My Fiction Nook

4-Jun

Amanda C. Stone

5-Jun

Carly’s Book Reviews

8-Jun

Bayou Book Junkie

9-Jun

Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews

10-Jun

Decadent Delights

11-Jun

MM Good Book Reviews

12-Jun

Inked Rainbow Reads

15-Jun

Divine Magazine

16-Jun

Book Reviews, Rants, and Raves

17-Jun

BFD Book Blog

18-Jun

The Novel Approach

19-Jun

Because Two Men Are Better Than One

22-Jun

Kimi-Chan

Happily Ever Chapter

23-Jun

Prism Book Alliance

24-Jun

Cate Ashwood

25-Jun

Love Bytes

26-Jun

Molly Lolly

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Cover reveal, Excerpt and Giveaway! Blood and Ghosts by Shira Anthony

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Blood and Ghosts

by

Shira Anthony

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Cover Artist: Reese Dante

Series: Blood     Book Number: 2

Standalone? Should not be read as a standalone

Release Date: April 20, 2015

Pages or Words: Approximately 70,000 words/250 pages

 Categories: Contemporary, Fantasy, Fiction, Gay Fiction, Historical, M/M Romance, Paranormal, Romance

Blurb:

Sequel to Blood and Rain

With vampire Nicolas Lambert’s marriage to a rival clanswoman only weeks away, Adrien Gilbert struggles to come to terms with his defeat at the hands of Verel Pelletier, a vampire hunter and an immortal like himself. Adrien and his former teacher, Roland Günter, begin to explore his newly acquired abilities. But without his soul’s sword, Adrien flounders.

On Nicolas’s wedding day, a two-hundred-year old secret is revealed, sending the wedding party into a blazing battle between hunters and vampires. Once again Adrien finds himself facing Pelletier’s superior strength. Just as Adrien believes all hope of a future with Nicolas is lost, he finally learns his true gift—he can turn back time. But time travel comes with a high cost. To save Nicolas, Adrien must become strong enough to use his power without descending into madness.

 SARC

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Excerpt:

Adrien walked back onto the main street and over to the curb, where someone caught his eye. A man with short black hair walked toward him. Dressed in dark jeans, with a white shirt and dark wool jacket, he wore a single diamond stud in his left ear. A woman hurrying down the sidewalk dodged Adrien as he stopped, but the man behind him knocked him to his knees.

“Are you all right?” someone said with a hint of a French accent.

Adrien looked up into familiar brown eyes. Adrien inhaled slowly, hoping to head off the bloodlust that buzzed at the back of his brain. Heat tingled at the back of his neck, raising the hairs there. His palms felt suddenly sweaty. He felt sick. Not nausea—shock at seeing Nicolas here, realizing it really was Nicolas.

“Yes, I….” Adrien took the hand Nicolas offered and struggled back to his feet. The world spun and he grabbed Nicolas’s arm to steady himself.

“You’re not all right. You look ill. I should call an ambulance—”

“No ambulance.” Adrien righted himself. “I just need to eat something. It’s hotter than I realized.”

Nicolas glanced around, frowned, then said, “There’s a coffee shop at the corner.” He didn’t appear convinced by Adrien’s words. “Why don’t I help you over there?”

As if Adrien would object. “Thank you.”

Five minutes later they sat at a booth by the window, Adrien drinking coffee with a trembling hand. Adrien had watched Nicolas as they’d walked the short distance to the restaurant, his swordsman’s muscles straining against the fabric of his shirt. He looked only slightly older than he’d been when they met. “I’m sorry,” he said, coming back to himself and wondering why Nicolas was sitting with him when he could have left. “I must be keeping you from something.”

“No,” Nicolas answered. “In fact, I just came from a meeting. I’ve got the rest of the afternoon free.”

“I’m Adrien.” He forced a smile and set the empty mug down.

“Nicolas.”

“It’s good to meet you, Nicolas,” Adrien said in French. He drew another long breath and his heart slowed its gallop.

“Please call me Nico,” Nicolas said, also in French.

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Click here or the image to enter the Rafflecopter

 2 prizes: 1Wibbly wobbly timey wimey pendant or 1 e-copy of Blood and Ghosts.

 

Sales Links:

Dreamspinner Press

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Author Bio:

Shira Anthony was a professional opera singer in her last incarnation, performing roles in such operas as Tosca, i 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. You can hear Shira singing Puccini’s “Tosca” by clicking here: http://www.shiraanthony.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/tosca-visse-darte-exceprt1.mp3

Author Contact:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/shira.anthony?fref=ts&ref=br_tf

Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Shira-Anthony/177484618974406

Twitter: @WriterShira

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/anthony0564/

 

Tour Stops:

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Parker Williams, MM Good Book Reviews, Inked Rainbow Reads, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, Molly Lolly, Amanda C. Stone, The Fuzzy, Fluffy World of Chris T. Kat, Bayou Book Junkie, Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents, Book Reviews, Rants, and Raves, My Fiction Nook, Andrew Q. Gordon, Emotion in Motion, BFD Book Blog, Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews, Cate Ashwood, Elisa – My Reviews and Ramblings, Charley Descoteaux, Love Bytes, Divine Magazine, Rainbow Gold Reviews, Carly’s Book Reviews, Because Two Men Are Better Than One

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Prelude by Shira Anthony & Venona Keyes

The Blue Notes Series:

  • Blue Notes (book #1)
  • The Melody Thief (book #2)
  • Aria (book #3)
  • Prelude (book #4) – in this review.

From the author…..Book 4 in the Blue Notes Series is bit of a prequel to the other books, although it’s meant to be read as a standalone novel. For those of you who’d like to read the series in chronological order, it goes like this:

1) Prelude
2) Blue Notes
3) Aria
4) The Melody Thief

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Prelude (Blue Notes, #4)Prelude by Shira Anthony

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The blurb…

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.

So what did I think?

This is the 4th book in the Blue Notes series but the series can be read in any order. However there is an author note stating that this would be book 1 if you want to read the story in chronological order.

This is the story of David who is a conductor and Alex a violinist.

David has had immense success in his career as a conductor and leads the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. However, he is not happy and satisfied with his life. He has been brought up with wealth and privilege but suffered loss which has made him fearful of relationships. His desire to compose was also ridiculed and criticised by his harsh grandfather who raised him. Therefore the less than perfect public response to his earlier compositions has destroyed his confidence.

Alex, on the other hand, is much more a free spirit. He has a love of music expressed in his playing of classical music but he also dabbles with other forms of music. He has tattoos and an attitude that doesn’t totally fit the expected mould of classical violinist. His life is a contrast to David, including his early life on the streets. Alex’s strength and focus and talent is what enabled him to change his life around and he still finds it hard to believe that he doesn’t have to watch every penny.

I really enjoyed this story. It was easy to feel sympathetic to David’s situation, his lack of confidence was heartbreaking..“He knew better, though. Alex wanted him now. Soon, he’d realize his mistake.” Although, at times I just wanted to shake him and tell him to get over himself! I think that would be my main issue with the book – the length of time it took for David to work through his issues and realise that his happiness lay with Alex.

There was lots of sheer romanticism directly linked so music as David’s feelings while he is with Alex translate into melody…..and sex as a symphony – yes! “David’s climax began like the distant rumble of the timpani and ended with a crescendo of sound – David’s own voice, raw, unrestrained, and full of emotion.’

Here are a couple of the pieces of music played by David and Alex.

 

A sweet and romantic 4 stars……
“I hear you, Alex. My love, my muse, my teacher, my partner, my desire, my inspiration. I hear the music in your soul, and it becomes my own.”

❅❅❅❅❅❅❅

To find out more about Shira Anthony and her books visit her website.

To find out more about Venona Keyes and her books visit her Goodreads profile.

Buy Prelude from Amazon.

Buy Prelude from Dreamspinner Press.