Guest Blogger Brandon Shire: The Power of Music

Summer Symphony_600I can’t tell you how honored I am to have Brandon Shire join me here! He’s a supremely talented writer and his new release, Summer Symphony, is truly a beautiful novel. For those of you who have enjoyed the Blue Notes Series and love music as much as I do, I highly recommend this story of love, loss, and self-discovery amidst the ruins.  Bittersweet and moving, there is no easy ending here, but it’s well worth the tears.

Thank you Brandon for a gorgeous book, for the opportunity to be part of this amazing story, and for joining me today! -Shira


What is the most devastating thing you could envision as a parent? It’s not a quick jump to realize that most parents would consider the loss of a child to be foremost among their greatest fears.

If the child has yet to be born, what then?

And what if you are the father and your worst fear comes true? How do you grieve after holding that small precious bundle in your hands?

We don’t often consider men when it comes to grieving for a child lost to miscarriage or stillbirth. In fact, male grief is dismissed (almost uniformly) throughout the world in these situations. The physical bond between mother and child can’t be denied. But you would think that in this day and age, we would have dispensed with the antiquated notions of how grief reflects on masculinity. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. Male grief is to be hidden, closeted.

Google “music and grief” and you will quickly learn that music therapy models have been found to be the most successful in treating grief and bereavement. But what happens when music is already the focus of your life? What happens when you can’t turn to the one thing that might help lift you from despair?

These are the topics I explored when I started writing Summer Symphony. Frankly, it shocked me to find such a dearth of information and support for grieving fathers. It was as if they didn’t matter. As a parent, I found this utterly absurd. My first question was: How can you support your spouse if you can’t grieve yourself? You can’t. That’s the answer. You can’t.

I won’t tell you this novel has an HEA, it doesn’t. It’s a tearjerker about music, love, romance, grief, and how a father finally learns to cope.

Very special thanks go to Shira for allowing me to pick her brain. Without her knowledge of music, I couldn’t have written this book. Thanks, Shira!


Book Blurb:

Martin Zoric had vivid dreams of fatherhood, of a small hand pressed to his, of pink dresses and girlish laughter. Then his wife had a stillbirth and his world fell apart.

He listened to the unwanted apologies, stood by his wife as was expected of him, and kept his façade strong and firm for the entire world to see.

But does he have the strength let go and really grieve?

When Ren Wakahisa landed in Croatia he was hoping to escape the cultural pressures put on him to conform. His family wanted him to forsake love for duty. They viewed his happiness as secondary to familial prosperity.

Does he have the courage to be who he wants to be? Or, will he yield to their wishes?

Summer Symphony is the story of how two men find their answers and what they learn about strength, and grace, and the endurance of love.


Summer Symphony is available for pre-order from Amazon, iTunes and Smashwords. (Other sites are coming soon.)


Author Bio:

Award winning writer BRANDON SHIRE is a distinct voice in contemporary fiction. Mr. Shire was chosen as a Top Read in 2011, Best in LGBTQ Fiction for 2011 & 2012, and garnered several Honorable Mentions, as well as a Rainbow Award for Best Gay Contemporary Fiction.

Connect with Brandon at or on Goodreads.

10% of the proceeds from the sale of any of Brandon’s books are donated to LGBT Youth charities combating homelessness.



  1. Yukari - Reply

    Hi Shira, Hi Brandon. Thank you for this post. I loved the Blue Notes series and I have read 4 of Mr Shire’s books so Im quite eager to read this. Music is so very important in my life, it is the way I allow myself to feel emotions.


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