Prelude Pre-Release Contest and New Excerpt

Nine days until the release of the next Blue Notes Series novel,  Prelude, and time for another pre-release giveaway contest!  This contest is for a $10 Dreamspinner Press gift certificate good towards any purchase at the Dreamspinner Press web store.  To enter, comment on my blog, the Blue Notes Series facebook page post, or my Goodreads blog.  I’ll draw on winner on Sunday, May 5th (the day before release day!) at midnight.

Now for a brand-new, never before seen excerpt from Prelude.  Alex Bishop filled in for an ailing violinist and performed under David Somers’s baton at the Chicago Symphony.  The two men bump into each other a few days later at an art show to benefit the symphony, and David gives Alex his card in the hopes that Alex’s agent will arrange for Alex to play with the CSO again.  Alex, however, decides he wants to ask David out on a date, and finally gets up the nerve to call David.  David, however, has pretty much given up on dating.   But there’s something about Alex that he finds irresistible….


Blurb:  World-renowned conductor David Somers never wanted the investment firm he inherited from his domineering grandfather. He only wanted to be a composer. But no matter how he struggles, David can’t translate the music in his head into notes on paper.

When a guest violinist at the Chicago Symphony falls ill, David meets Alex Bishop, a last-minute substitute. Alex’s fame and outrageous tattoos fail to move David. Then Alex puts bow to string, and David hears the brilliance of Alex’s soul.

David has sworn off relationships, believing he will eventually drive away those he loves, or that he’ll lose them as he lost his wife and parents. But Alex is outgoing, relaxed, and congenial—everything David is not—and soon makes dents in the armor around David’s heart. David begins to dream of Alex, wonderful dreams full of music. Becoming a composer suddenly feels attainable.

David’s fragile ego, worn away by years of his grandfather’s disdain, makes losing control difficult. When David’s structured world comes crashing down, his fledgling relationship with Alex is the first casualty. Still, David hears Alex’s music, haunting and beautiful. David wants to love Alex, but first he must find the strength to acknowledge himself.

Prelude is now available for pre-order at the Dreamspinner Press store.  Oh, and if you haven’t ready the original Blue Notes and Aria, those books are 20% off until May 1st in honor of France’s legalization of same-sex marriage!


PG Excerpt from Chapter 6

ALEX looked down at the card in his hand. He’d been sitting on the couch, staring at the damn thing for nearly ten minutes and holding his cell phone in the other hand. He’d even keyed in the number.

What the hell was wrong with him? He’d never hesitated to ask another man out before. He’d done his homework. David Somers had been married, years ago, but Paulette insisted he was gay. Single and gay.

He took a deep breath and tapped the Send button.


“David? This is Alex Bishop. I hope I’m not catching you at a bad time.”

There was a hint of a pause before David spoke. “No. Not at all. What can I do for you, Alex?”

“I thought I’d check to see if Kenny ever got back to your booking folks.”

“He did. Thank you. Mr. Sykes said he’d need to check with your manager first. He says she has your calendar.”

Alex laughed. “That’s a good thing. I have the hardest time keeping up with it. Fortunately, my manager is also my roommate.”

“Oh.” Alex thought he heard a note of disappointment in David’s voice.

“Marla’s a smart woman. She knew she couldn’t afford a view of Lake Michigan on her own. We share the place.”

“I see. I just assumed you were seeing each other when I met her after the concert.” David’s voice was brighter now. Alex was sure of it. “So do you live near the park?”

“Harbor Point Tower.”

“We’re neighbors. I’m just down on Lake Shore Drive at Oak Street Beach.”

“Really? That’s great.” Alex leaned back on the couch.

David paused as if unsure how to respond. “I do appreciate your calling,” David said, breaking the silence. “I’m glad I was able to make contact with your agent.”

“I am too. Listen, David”—Alex hoped he didn’t sound as nervous as he felt—”if I’m out of line here, just tell me. I know you gave me your number so I could follow up about the gig. But I was thinking maybe you and I might get together sometime.”

“You want to go on a date with me?”

The way David put it so bluntly reminded Alex of how totally unprofessional he had been to ask David out at all. “I… well… yes.”

Another pause, this time longer than the last. “That’s very kind of you.” Another pause. “I don’t mean to be rude, but I generally don’t date.”

Not an out-and-out rejection. Alex heard hesitation in David’s voice, but there was something else that convinced Alex David wasn’t an entirely lost cause.

“We could just have lunch downtown. Nothing fancy. Just talk.” He almost said, We can hang out, then thought better of it.

“All right.” David still sounded tentative, and Alex hoped he hadn’t forced his affirmative. The man was always so polite. “Where were you thinking?”

Alex hadn’t thought that far ahead—he’d stalled out at the “do I ask him or not?” part of the equation. “A friend of mine has a new place I’ve heard is good. Tapas.”

“Tapas sounds lovely. We have a guest conductor this weekend, so I have no other engagements on my calendar.”

Alex repressed a chuckle, imagining a servant standing at attention as David spoke on the phone, ready to update his busy social calendar. “Let’s make it Saturday, then.” Saturday was sooner than Sunday.

“Saturday it is. Why don’t we meet at Symphony Hall? I have a few administrative matters I need to take care of in the morning. Say, eleven?”

“Eleven would be great.”

“See you then.”

Alex tapped the phone, leaned back on the sofa and ran a hand through his hair. Something about David made him nervous— something he couldn’t quite fathom. Something under the calm and composed exterior. Alex had never met anyone quite like David Somers.

Saturday couldn’t come too soon.



  1. Juliana - Reply

    Thanks for the excerpt! It’s nice to see David out of his element! I can’t wait to read the whole story! 🙂
    OceanAkers @

    • Shira - Reply

      It’s so much fun making someone as controlled as David squirm. There’s actually a bit with him in the epilogue of the next book “Encore” where two of his friends try to get him to blush… That was fun to write! -Shira

  2. Susan - Reply

    I’ve always enjoyed David in his appearances in the other books, so I’m really looking forward to his backstory!

    • Shira - Reply

      Thanks Susan! He definitely comes a long way in this story – I have to admit wanting to beat him over the head a few times as we were writing. I’m guessing Venona felt the same way!

  3. Andrea M - Reply

    I’ve been waiting for this. Of course, to be honest, I wait for each and every one of them; love the Blue Notes series.

  4. buttononthetop - Reply

    Oh yay! More Blue Notes and extra yay for lots of David! Can’t wait!

    • Shira - Reply

      I love LOVE David! Of course you know he’s going to show up again and again in future books… 😉

  5. Valerie - Reply

    Great excerpt! I can’t wait to read more about Alex and David…Wonderful series 🙂

  6. ginger - Reply

    Can not wait until this is released! Will probably stay up really late just to read it.

    • Shira - Reply

      *grins* I hope when you do finish, Ginger, you’ll have sweet dreams about David. Or Alex. Or both.

  7. Natalija - Reply

    I’m in need of a good series to read and this one sounds great. The European setting is a big bonus. Yes, I’m way behind everyone else, but I’ll catch up 🙂

    • Shira - Reply

      LOL Natalija! And you’re in luck if you haven’t already purchased the books -the first and third books (Blue Notes and Aria) are on sale at Dreamspinner Press until May 1st to celebrate the French legalization of gay marriage (both books are set in part in Paris). I love that they do stuff like that at Dreamspinner! 😉

      Good luck in the drawing!

  8. Maria - Reply

    Love this series & am super excited for the new release can’t wait!!!! YAY 🙂

    • Shira - Reply

      Thanks so much, Maria! I’m so excited about finally telling David and Alex’s story. *happy dances*

  9. Dorome - Reply

    Thanks for the excerpt! Prelude is already on my have-to-read list. Loved all of the Blue Notes books so far and I am sure this one will be awesome, too.

  10. Kath - Reply

    Loved the excerpt and super excited about this book! Have loved all the previous books in this series and think that David’s story will be well worth the wait. I’m really looking forward to reading this and finding out how these two got together.

  11. Trix - Reply

    I have a special place in my heart for what I call The Incongruous Boy…Alex’s tattoos and violin prowess fit the bill there! This will be fun…

    • Shira - Reply

      Alex is definitely full of contradictions. Just what stiff/closed-off David needs to break out of his shell! I’ve got you entered in the drawing, Trix. Thanks for commenting!

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