Shadowboxing by Anne Barwell

January 20, 2012

Can physicist Kristopher and Resistance member Michel find love and safety in the middle of World War II? Shadowboxing by Anne Barwell, available from Dreamspinner Press.

Berlin, 1943. An encounter with an old friend leaves German physicist Dr. Kristopher Lehrer with doubts about his work. But when he confronts his superior, everything goes horribly wrong. Suddenly Kristopher and Michel, a member of the Resistance, are on the run, hunted for treason and a murder they did not commit. If they’re caught, Kristopher’s knowledge could be used to build a terrible weapon that could win the war.

When Michel contacts the Allies, hoping they can work together, it isn’t long before the so-called “simple” mission becomes anything but. With both men realizing they can no longer ignore their growing feelings for each other, Kristopher and Michel must fight—not just for a chance of a future together, but for their very survival.

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Genre: Historical—European
Length: Novel

Bonds of Earth by G N Chevalier

January 9, 2012

Can Michael and John find love and healing in the aftermath of World War I? Bonds of Earth by G N Chevalier, available from Dreamspinner Press.

In 1918, Michael McCready returned from the war with one goal: to lose himself in the pursuit of pleasure. Once a promising young medical student, Michael buried his dreams alongside the broken bodies of the men he could not save. After fleeing New York to preserve the one relationship he still values, he takes a position as a gardener on a country estate, but he soon discovers that the house hides secrets and sorrows of its own. While Michael nurses the estate’s neglected gardens, his reclusive employer dredges up reminders of the past Michael is desperate to forget.

John Seward’s body was broken by the war, along with his will to recover until a family crisis convinces him to pursue treatment. As John’s health and outlook improve under Michael’s care, animosity yields to understanding. He and John find their battle of wills turning into something stronger, but fear may keep them from finding hope and healing in each other.

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Genre: Historical – American
Length: Novel

An Unsettled Range by Andrew Grey

January 9, 2012

Can Troy and Liam overcome a rough start and find a way to be together? An Unsettled Range by Andrew Grey, available from Dreamspinner Press.

The last thing Liam Southard expects when he flees his abusive father is to be taken in by a couple of gay ranchers. Soon he has a new job and a new perspective on his sexuality, and his life starts to turn around. Then someone pulls a gun on him.

In Troy Gardener’s defense, the gun thing was a mistake. Between his marriage falling apart and living in his uncle’s isolated hunting cabin, he’s been a little edgy. He wants to make it up to Liam, and once he discovers how much they have in common, he wants even more. But with Liam’s father popping in unexpectedly and a mining company threatening the ranch’s water supply, the only guarantee is that life is never going to be boring.

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Genre: Western
Length: Novel

Awakenings by Tara Larson

January 6, 2012

Can Sean’s connection with Adam convince him to leave behind his life of pretense? Awakenings by Tara Larson, available from Dreamspinner Press.

Sean Morgan is wealthy, good-looking, and smart, so the world should be his oyster, but nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, Sean’s the one stuck in the tiny shell his rich, conservative family forced him into. He’d love to break away from law school—and his girlfriend—to pursue life as a maybe-gay photographer, but he doesn’t have the guts… until he meets sexy bartender-slash-artist Adam while on vacation with Lindsey.

His connection with Adam convinces Sean he needs to live a more authentic life, but how does his heart’s desire measure up against his family’s expectations? It isn’t in Sean to rock the boat, but Adam isn’t going to wait around forever. If Sean doesn’t stand up for who he is and what he wants, he’ll miss out on what could be his only shot at a happy ending.

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Genre: Contemporary
Length: Novel

Requiem for a Broken Dream by Lori C. Hawkins

January 2, 2012

Can Nick survive the conditions for achieving his dream? Requiem for a Broken Dream by Lori C. Hawkins, available from Dreamspinner Press.

Screenwriter Nick Conte left sleepy Sweetwater Springs for the glitz and glamor of Hollywood only to be crushed by the reality of tourist traps, fast-food joints, and disappointed dreamers. Serving coffee by day and toiling away on scripts at night, Nick is busy but comfortable until his neighbor, wannabe actor Dean Winship, stumbles into his apartment and his life.

As their friendship and their careers take off, Nick decides he wants more, but Dean puts him off, saying only that his life is too complicated already. When faded actor Stone Carter makes an offer for Nick’s screenplay, “complicated” doesn’t begin to cover it. Carter’s offer comes with some bizarre conditions, but if Nick wants to achieve his dreams, he can’t turn it down—a fact he may not live to regret.

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Genre: Mystery/Suspense
Length: Novel

Delsyn’s Blues by Lou Sylvre

January 2, 2012

Can Luki and Sonny hold onto their love against threats from inside and outside their relationship? Delsyn’s Blues by Lou Sylvre, available from Dreamspinner Press.

Sonny James and Luki Vasquez are living proof that the course of love never runs smoothly. Ambushed by grief, Sonny listens to a voice singing the blues from beyond the grave. While revisiting the sorrows and failings of his past, in the here and now he puts up a wall against love. Just when Luki chips through that barricade, the couple becomes the target of a new threat from outside: an escalating and unexplainable rash of break-ins and assaults.

Thoughts of infidelity rise between them, a threat that may strain their newly mended love past its limits. To come through the trials alive and together, Luki and Sonny will have to unite against enemies who were once friends and overcome crippling hatred and overwhelming fear. If they succeed, maybe then they can rekindle the twin flames of passion and love.

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Genre: Mystery/Suspense
Length: Novel

“Blue Notes” Musical Soundtrack

December 30, 2011

So, if you haven’t figured it out already, “Blue Notes” is about music and musicians, among other things. While I was writing the book, I listened to a lot of different music, mostly classical.  There are three pieces that formed the basic soundtrack for the book:

1)  Brahms Intermezzo Op. 118, no. 2.   The American protagonist in the story, Jason, is a former classical pianist whose favorite piece of music is the Brahms.  It’s a totally romantic, angsty piece which I can listen to a million times and still turns me to Jell-O!  I can’t even count how many times I listened to it while writing the book (until my husband and kids finally told me to stop!).

2) Sibelius Violin Concerto This concerto is the first piece that appears in “Symphony,” one of the other books in the Blue Notes series (co-authored with my buddy, Venona Keyes).  And, good lord, that first movement is SOOOO romantic!

3) Tenor/Baritone duet from Bizet’s “The Pearlfishers”:   This is the “theme” for “Aria,” a WIP and another music-themed novel (about an opera singer), and is sung by the two male leads in the opera, who are best friends and rivals for the same woman’s love (talk about the closest thing to M/M sex in opera!)  Bromance at its best! They should just have ditched the girl and walked off into the sunset together…

All the links are to recordings you can listen to for free. And don’t forget that you can win enter a download of my favorite Brahms recording from Amazon by leaving a message on the blog.  Enjoy! -Shira

Blue Notes by Shira Anthony

December 30, 2011

Will Jason’s fling in Paris be the prelude to a lifelong love? Blue Notes by Shira Anthony, available from Dreamspinner Press.

Blame it on jet lag. Jason Greene thought he had everything: a dream job as a partner in a large Philadelphia law firm, a beautiful fiancée, and more money than he could ever hope to spend. Then he finds his future wife in bed with another man, and he’s forced to rethink his life and his choices. On a moment’s notice, he runs away to Paris, hoping to make peace with his life.

But Jason’s leave of absence becomes a true journey of the heart when he meets Jules, a struggling jazz violinist with his own cross to bear. In the City of Love, it doesn’t take them long to fall into bed, but as they’re both about to learn, they can’t run from the past. Sooner or later, they’ll have to face the music.

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Genre: Contemporary
Length: Novel

Stolen Moments by Ariel Tachna

December 26, 2011

Can Beau and Jacob build a life together out of the ashes of their past? Stolen Moments by Ariel Tachna, available from Dreamspinner Press.

After a year apart, teacher Jacob Peters and county judge Beau Braedon decide they can’t live without each other. There are just a few small obstacles to their Alabama love story. Jacob resents Beau’s paranoia about being outed, but Beau is convinced he’ll lose his seat on the bench if he admits to their relationship, and as a teacher at a Christian school, Jacob’s job is even more at risk. They could relocate, but Beau’s mother has Alzheimer’s and can’t be moved. And then there’s the tiny issue of Jacob’s infant son, Finn, and his mother, whom Jacob wed out of duty. In short, they are stuck.

But Beau has a long-term plan, and he’s prepared to swallow his fears and compromise with Jacob, because sharing stolen moments is no longer enough.

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Genre: Contemporary
Length: Novel

Vlad the Paler by Malthea

December 26, 2011

Can Vlad learn enough about his new supernatural life in time to save Logon? Vlad the Paler by Malthea, available from Dreamspinner Press.

When half-Korean sci fi-fantasy gamer nerd Cyrus Gae goes out clubbing on his first night of vacation, he’s not expecting to be bitten by a vampire. Not in Florida, the land of sunshine and Mickey Mouse. He’s not exactly averse to being a creature of the night, but he’s righteously pissed off about the vampire’s cavalier eat-and-run attitude. Determined to track down Troy, the bloodsucker who turned him, Cyrus takes the name Vlad and begins a search that will take him to leather bars, vampire dens, and cyber cafés.

As Cyrus hunts the elusive vampire, he meets Logon, the hipster/geek love of his afterlife; Vinnie, his Girl Friday the 13th; and even an intersexual voodoo queen, while learning that being a supernatural bad-ass isn’t quite what he imagined. In fact, hardly anything is what it seems, and Vlad finds himself in the middle of an intrigue involving Florida’s master vampire—who isn’t thrilled about Vlad’s sudden appearance in his domain. With powerful forces aligning against Vlad, he’ll have no choice but to become the hero he never wanted to be if he wants to keep his beloved Logon safe.

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Genre: Fantasy/Paranormal
Length: Novel