Happy Wednesday everyone! It’s a short work week for a lot of us, but somehow those always feel longer to me. I thought I’d mix things up by posting midweek and sharing a bit about the Blue Notes Series in general, then end with an excerpt from book #3 in the series, “Aria,” due out in December from Dreamspinner Press. And it’s a NSFW excerpt for 18+. My favorite kind! You can find the excerpt here (scroll down to “excerpt” and click on the + sign).
First off, let me share a secret: the Blue Notes Series is a bit of a personal fantasy of mine. A classical music universe (a bit of jazz and rock, too), beautiful men, romance, and happily-ever-afters. Then again, I grew up with lots of romantic fantasies. No surprise, then, that when I finally decided to try writing a novel, it was a romance.
I grew up with music. My mother, sister and I all had careers as professional musicians. I started out as a violinist and, in college, discovered opera. I sang opera professionally for more than ten years. So when I was trying to figure out what to write about for my second MM novel, I thought about what I knew and what I loved. From there, it was an easy decision.
Writing the books, however, was more of a challenge, because each of them deals with issues I myself have had some experience with as a musician: stage fright, long-distance relationships, and letting go so that you can allow your musical soul to shine through, among other things. Difficult issues for me to face, even more difficult to write about. And while I’m not a gay man, most of the men I met while I was singing were gay men. Wonderful men, some of whom I still count as my closest friends.
Each Blue Notes Series novel is a freestanding story and the books can be read in any order, although the main characters in one book may appear as secondary characters in another. The first book in the series, “Blue Notes,” is the story of former pianist Jason Greene, who escapes the pain of a failed relationship by running to Paris. There, he meets a jazz violinist, Jules Bardon, and learns about himself: what makes him happy and how to let go of the pain he’s been harboring for decades.
The second Blue Notes novel, “The Melody Thief,” is the story of cellist Cary Redding, a former child prodigy, sought after by conductors the world over. Underneath the veneer of success, however, Cary hides a world of pain. He escapes his past by drinking too much and seeking out anonymous sexual encounters in seedy bars. But Cary’s dual life comes crashing down around him when he’s rescued by lawyer Antonio Bianchi on a deserted Milan street. With Antonio’s help, Cary is able to overcome his past and become the man he wants to be.
The third novel in the series, “Aria,” to be published in December of 2012, is the story of Sam Ryan, a lawyer, and opera singer Aiden Lind. Sam and Aiden are instantly attracted to each other when they first meet in New York City. But Sam is still grieving the sudden death of his partner of seven years, and Aiden gets an offer to sing in Europe. They go their separate ways, only to meet again, five years later. But managing a relationship in the face of a career where you are nearly always on the road is a challenge for both men. And Sam hasn’t quite gotten over the pain of his loss, either. Together, they must find a way to work with Aiden’s jet-setting lifestyle and for Sam to move on from his grief.
There are at least five more novels planned in the series, including “Prelude” (my current WIP set for tentative publication in April, 2013), which tells the story of conductor David Somers (who appears in every Blue Notes Series book so far) and crossover violinist Alex Bishop. Also planned is “Dissonance,” the story of Guy Bardon (brother of Jules Bardon from “Blue Notes”) and drummer Henri Duhamel (drummer in Jules Bardon’s jazz trio).
The one recurring theme of the Blue Notes Series novels, other than music, is the importance of relationships to character growth. Although there certainly are more fanciful plot twists in the novels, at their heart, they are stories of real human relationships and feelings. Real men. Real relationships. Real emotions. Many of the books are traditional romances, with a happily ever after (HEA) at the end. Others, however, have the HEA earlier on, and focus on the growth of love and overcoming obstacles to love after the HEA.
Each story in the series celebrates romance and love between men, and each story embraces the creative spirit in all of us. To read an excerpt from the next Blue Notes novel, “Aria,” click here, then scroll down to “excerpt” and click on the + sign.