All week, I’m counting down the days to the release of Dissonance by Dreamspinner Press! Today, to kick things off with the proverbial seventy-piece orchestra (okay, so I’m a music geek, what do you want?), I’m offering up the first book in the Blue Notes Series for free! For the next seven days, the 2nd edition of Blue Notes is free in ebook format from Amazon.com.
Blue Notes was inspired by a trip I took about five years ago to Paris. I’d lived in France as a teenager and studied violin at a conservatory there. For me, the Paris trip was a bit of an escape, and that thought was with me when I imagined a disillusioned lawyer leaving his not so happy life behind, at least for a short time, and spending a few months in Paris. In the winter. Blue Notes is definitely one of the most romantic books of the series, and much of the main character’s background is based on my own experiences living and going to high school in Grenoble, France.
Here’s the blurb: 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.
Already have a copy of the 2nd edition of Blue Notes? You can pre-order Dissonance now at Dreamspinner Press and download it early Friday morning! Here’s the link to the Dreamspinner Press website: http://bit.ly/1qLEVHc
And don’t forget to enter the pre-release contest, because it wraps up Friday morning when the clock strikes 12:00 a.m.! You can enter more than once (in fact, you can enter every day!). You could win a cool Blue Notes Series swag bag filled with paperback books of the first 5 novels in the series (or ebook copies if you live outside the US). Here’s the link to the Rafflecopter giveaway: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/share-code/Y2YwYmE5NDkzMTY4MjgyZWNiMzcwNjVhODk2ZTBjOjQ=/
I’ll leave you all with an excerpt from the first chapter of Blue Notes. Enjoy! -Shira
IN A dim alcove only a dozen or so feet from the musicians, Jason sat nursing his drink, transported by the sound of the violin. It wasn’t jazz in its purest form—it was more of a hybrid, combining the traditional jazz rhythms of the fifties with a modern yet classical approach. But whatever you might call the music, he found it transcendent. Between pieces, Jason glanced around the room to discover the group’s name but found no mention of it anywhere.
The set ended and the club erupted in applause. The musicians nodded, their manner casual, aloof, even a bit embarrassed. The violinist met Jason’s eyes and, for a brief instant, lingered there. Jason’s face heated. Breaking their eye contact to look down at his empty glass, he told himself that the heat in his cheeks was from the alcohol and the lack of sleep. He motioned to the lone waiter for a refill. When he turned back toward the stage, he found himself sitting face-to-face with the violinist.
“May I join you?” the violinist asked, a coy grin on his delicate lips. Jason figured that he might be nineteen, tops. As his companion brushed a stray lock of shoulder-length black hair from his eyes, Jason realized that he had one brown eye and one green. He was a waif of a kid, his face uniquely French, from the slightly pronounced nose to the sharper edge of his jaw. Even seated as he was, Jason could see that the kid’s body swam in a large pair of jeans that hung low on his hips, exposing blue plaid boxers. On top, he wore a body-hugging black T-shirt with the word “Quoi?” splashed across the front in bright red.
“Be my guest,” Jason replied in French, still unsure of what to think about the kid. “Seems as though you’ve already invited yourself.”
“You’re French-Canadian?” the newcomer inquired, grin widening.
“American.” Jason noted the rough edges of the uneven tattoo on the kid’s right forearm. Homemade, no doubt.
“Really? Your French is excellent.”
“And your music’s good,” Jason countered playfully. “What’s your trio called?”
“Dunno. We haven’t named it yet—we don’t play that much. Wouldn’t have played tonight except the group Maurice booked canceled and he couldn’t find a replacement. My roommate’s the dishwasher here.” He gestured at the drummer, who was watching them with interest from the edge of the small stage. “So, do you live in Paris?” he added after a moment’s pause.
The waiter deposited two drinks on the table and winked at the violinist.
“My name’s Jules. Jules Bardon.”
“Enchanté.” Jules took Jason’s hand across the table. The gesture was far too friendly. Flirtatious. Jason pulled his hand away and raised an eyebrow. Jules appeared unfazed. “Here on business?”
Jules laughed—a soft, almost girlish laugh. “Do I make you uncomfortable?” He fixed his gaze on Jason.
“No,” lied Jason, finding Jules’s gaze a bit too intense.
“I could make this a pleasure visit for you.” Jules absentmindedly traced a long finger across his own lips.
“I don’t bat for that team.” Jason borrowed the American expression wholesale as his French failed him at last. It was not the first time he’d spoken the words, although it was the first time he’d spoken them in French. They were also not entirely true; it was simply that the right opportunity had never presented itself.
Jules looked at him for a moment, clearly uncomprehending, then laughed again.
“What’s so funny?” Jason demanded, noting a hint of licorice on the air as his companion replaced his drink on the table.
“Oh,” Jules said, “I understand.” He laughed again. “Sorry. I’ve just never heard it put that way before. At first I thought you were asking me about baseball.” He took a swig of his drink and shrugged. “Too bad. You looked like you could use a good—”
“I have to go.” Jules sighed and appeared disappointed. “Time for the next set. It was nice to meet you, Jason.” He tripped over the name, and it came out sounding something like “Jah-sohn.” Jason chuckled in spite of himself, reminded of the various ways in which his name had been mangled by French speakers through the years.
Jules sucked down the rest of his drink in one swallow and stood up. “If you change your mind…,” he began, but the drummer grabbed him by the arm and dragged him back toward the stage.
Not likely, kid. Jason chuckled again. He had enough shit to deal with.