Dissonance by Shira Anthony
Release Date: August 8, 2014
Cover Artist: Catt Ford
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
British lord Cameron Sherrington has hit rock bottom. The love of his life, opera sensation Aiden Lind, is marrying another man, and Cam knows it’s his own fault for pushing Aiden away. Then someone tries to set him up and take away his family business. Facing arrest by US authorities on charges of money laundering and with no money to return to London, Cam decides to run. But with no money and no place to stay, it’s not exactly the Hollywood thriller he’d imagined.
When Cam hears Galen Rusk play in a lonely subway station, he’s intrigued. But his assumptions about Galen are all wrong, and their unusual relationship isn’t exactly what Cam bargained for. Add to that the nightmares that dog him nightly, and Cam’s world is shaken to its core. Cam figures he had it coming to him, that it’s all penance due on a life lived without honesty. He just never figured he might not be able to survive it.
Note: Blue Notes Series novels are standalone stories, and can be read in any order.
Real Life Inspiration: The Blue Notes Series, by Shira Anthony
Thanks, Sophie, for hosting the Dissonance Blog Tour today! For those of you who might be new to the Blue Notes Series, all of the novels in the series are standalone gay (male/male) romances featuring music and musicians. Dissonance is no exception. It features Galen Rusk, a trumpeter who plays for tips in the New York City subway. Readers often ask me what order they should read the books in. I think there are three ways you can: 1) in order of publication, 2) in chronological order, and 3) pick a summary that speaks to you and just dive in anywhere! You can find all the series books at the Dreamspinner Press store and on Amazon.com.
Sophie has asked me to talk about something really fun: true stories that would make great plot bunnies. That’s a perfect topic, because many of my stories are based in part on true stories, and Dissonance is no exception. In fact, the first book in the series, Blue Notes, is based in part on a trip I took to Paris about five years ago, and my own background having lived in Grenoble, France, for several years when I was in high school.
You’ve probably heard the term, “write what you know.” There’s a reason it’s a great idea—your stories ring far truer if you write from your own experiences. I’m a former opera singer and violinist, and the only real research I need to do for books about musicians is from my own life. But when you think about those experiences, you don’t even need to think big picture. I think it’s the little details that make readers believe and feel as though they are experiencing what the characters experience. Sure, the big ones matter too, but maybe not as much as you’d think.
So what do I mean? Take playing an instrument, for example. You, like me, probably think of recorded music when someone asks you to name your favorite song. And recordings are perfect, for the most part. Someone coughs, and the sound engineer cleans the recording up, splices that bit out, or just has you do another take. But that sort of perfect performance isn’t what a musician experiences when she or he plays an instrument. There sounds other than the music itself that you might hear if you sat next to a soloist playing on stage. The details about those sounds are what make the story real.
So, for example, if you were to stand next to me playing a violin, you’d hear the music, of course, but you’d also hear the sound of the horsehair on the bow as it scrapes across the strings and makes them vibrate. You might hear my fingers tapping against the fingerboard. For a singer, you might hear my breathing, or the way certain words vibrate at the back of my throat.
Of course, there are bigger true stories. Jason in Blue Notes remembers his childhood experiences of being the only American at a French school. He remembers how he hated when his parents dragged him to ancient church after ancient church. He remembers skiing at the Olympic ski station in the Alps. Those are all my experiences, through Jason’s eyes.
I hope that when you read the Blue Notes Series books that you feel as though you’ve stepped into the characters’ shoes. I hope you hear the music as more than just the notes. And remember that much of what you’re reading there is true!
Don’t forget to enter the blog tour giveaway (details below)!
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.
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