“Aria” – Blue Notes #3

I just submitted book three in the Blue Notes series, “Aria,” to Dreamspinner Press for tentative publication in December of 2012 (assuming they accept the manuscript, of course!).  “Aria” took me the longest of any of the Blue Notes books to write – I started working on it nearly two years ago.  It was originally planned as the second book in the series.

Ironic, isn’t it, that “Aria” is about a career path I myself lived, and yet it took so long for me to finish the book.  But it’s hardly a surprise.  Musicians can never truly forget music, even if they give it up entirely.  It’s in our blood, in our hearts, in our souls.  It doesn’t matter if all you did was play trumpet in your high school band–if you really forged a connection to the art of musical expression, it’s a bond not easily broken.  It’s a lot like love.  Maybe it is love, similar to love between people.

“Aria” is the story of opera singer Aiden Lind, whom you will meet in the second Blue Notes book, “The Melody Thief,” due out August 24th from Dreamspinner Press (Aiden is best friends with Cary Redding, one of the main characters in Thief).  Aiden’s a self-proclaimed “hick” from rural Mississippi who makes it big on the international operatic scene.  With the help of conductor David Somers, Aiden’s career skyrockets just as his relationship with wealthy British Lord Cameron Sherrington takes a nosedive.  That’s when Aiden reconnects with Sam Ryan (whom you’ll remember as the Philadelphia lawyer Jason Greene meets at a gay bar toward the end of “Blue Notes”).

Aiden and Sam had instant chemistry years before, and that chemistry is still there when they meet for a second time in Paris.  But working through the logistics of a long-distance relationship is challenging, not to mention stressful.  And that’s without the ghost from Sam’s past whom Aiden can’t hope to compete with.

Like the other “Blue Notes” series books, “Aria” is about relationships.  Just saying “I love you” isn’t enough:  it takes communication and effort to make a relationship a success.  I think that’s also what made it so difficult for me to write this book.  Letting go of relationships (in this case my own relationship with my operatic career) is just as much work as forging a relationship.  At least, if you want to survive and grow in spite of the pain.  Making peace with the loss of a love, whether of a person or of a passion, isn’t so different.

PS:  If you’re interested in hearing what I sounded like when I was singing, you can hear an excerpt from a live performance of Puccini’s “Tosca” here:  “Vissi d’arte”


  1. Elizabeth - Reply

    Your performance is truly stunning. I haven’t had a chance to read Aria yet, but I have a close friend that lost the ability to continue her career as a concert pianist due to injury. I’m afraid Aria is going to make me cry. Thank you for sharing this piece of your soul.

    • Shira - Reply

      Thank you, Elizabeth! The loss in Aria is more immediate than the loss of a musical career, but I don’t doubt that the reason this story focuses on loss and recovery is because of my own experience “losing” my music. I don’t think I even realized why I was writing it while I was writing it – interesting, how that works!

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