Review: Dissonance (Blue Notes #6) by Shira Anthony

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

Dissonance-build-full-r2(1)Lord Cameron Sherrington’s life feels very empty since he lost his love,  opera singer Aiden Lind.  Of course,it was his own fault.  Cam cheated on Aiden not once but numerous times until Aiden finally left him for good.  As Cameron always expected Aiden to do.  Aiden was much too good for Cameron and he knew it.  Now he hears from Aiden that Aiden and Sam are getting married and the depression that it brings on seems endless.

As Cameron tries to  figure out how to move forward in a life without goals, disaster strikes from the last  place he expects, the family business. Cameron is being framed for money laundering by someone who wants to takeover the business and the FBI want to bring Cam in for questioning.  Cam flees the authorities but with all his accounts depleted or frozen, he is friendless, helpless, and on the streets.

Galen Rusk plays his trumpet in NYC Subways for the shear enjoyment of playing and people watching. When Galen finds a man in dire straits in the tunnels, he recognizes him from the times Cam has stopped by to listen and leave him tips.  Now the tables have turned, and Galen offers Cam all the protection and sanctuary he can afford.  And soon, bonded by need and their desire for each other, a tenuous relationship forms that neither man is prepared for.

When love appears, all the troubles and fears threaten to break the men apart even before their relationship has been given a chance to succeed.   Can Cam and Galen overcome their pasts to grab onto the love in front of them or will it be lost forever in the pain and uncertainties of the present?

I have been such a fan of this series since its inception.  The marvelous blending of passion, music and drama in story after story keeps bringing me back into the lives of these musicians, their music and the men who love them.  For not only is love the key to their happiness but so is the music that flows through their lives, no matter the melody or instrument.   It sustains them, it speaks for them, and it consoles them when all else is falling apart around them.

The shear vitality and musicality to Shira Anthony’s writing makes these characters and their stories ones to hold close to your heart.  It is so easy to revel in all the romance, passion and yes, even pain, that life brings to them all as we watch them overcome the obstacles on the path to a future and happily ever after.  But of all of them, I believe that Cameron and Galen are my favorite couple of the Blue Notes series.  How astonishing!

After having lived through the turmoil and devastation of Aiden Lind’s life in Aria (Blue Notes #3) and the major role that Lord Cameron Sherrington played in Aiden’s pain, I never thought I would see the reclamation of such a cad.  In that story, Cam was an unadulterated terror.  A selfish, spoiled brat of a man who was used to getting his way and a bully when that didn’t happen.  Talk about your unlikable character! But over the next several stories, hints were creeping in that all was not well with Lord Cameron.  Glimpses of vulnerability and regret were seeping in, especially when it came to his actions towards Aiden. Soon people were clamoring for Cam’s story.

Here Shira Anthony tears off the cover of Cameron’s assuredness and arrogance to reveal a past of pain, neglect and perhaps something darker that even Cameron had repressed. It’s a slow process of pulling back the layers that Cameron has so completely piled on top of his memories. Anthony prolongs that  aspect of this story in a manner that makes it feel not only authentic but hauntingly real as well.  From the events that trigger Cameron’s memories to the stress and strain of his situation that brings Cameron to the breaking point, the author’s descriptions pull us into his life so completely until  we are there, teetering on the edge of the precipice with Cameron.  And Cameron is not the only one here whose past has immobilized him and any relationships he might attempt.  Galan is just as wounded as Cameron.  Both men must deal with their problems and pasts before  they can decide to move forward together.

What a wonderful and absorbing story in every way.

Textured portraits, a story full of plots guaranteed to secure our interest and emotions, and an ending that brings the men together with favorite couples from previous novels.  And on top of all those amazing ingredients, Shira Anthony folds in the music that so represents these characters and their journey, separately and together.  What music it is!  Such an eclectic selection.  From the iconic sounds of Billie Holiday to Led Zeppelin’s Stairway to Heaven, we sway to the music that flows through this narrative, pulling us along.  There’s some of my all time favorites here.  “Moon River’, sung by Audrey Hepburn , Bill Withers “Ain’t No Sunshine”, and so many others.  A complete soundtrack and links are listed below.  Check them out or better yet, listen as you read.

I loved Dissonance.  It’s a joy in every way.  It will be on ScatteredThoughtsandRogueWords Best of 2014 lists this year.  Pick it up and start reading now. Yes, you can read it as a stand alone but do yourself a favor, and read the others first.  You will appreciate Cameron’s journey so much more if you know what went on before this book.  I highly recommend Dissonance and the entire Blue Notes series.  Get started on it today.

Buy Links:    Dreamspinner Press eBook      All Romance eBook (ARe)        Dissonance (Blue Notes) ”         Dissonance

Cover Artist:  Catt Ford.  Lovely cover, works for the story and for the branding of the series.  Great job.

Book Details:

ebook, 240 pages
Published August 8th 2014 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN 1632161826 (ISBN13: 9781632161826)
edition languageEnglish
urlhttp://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=5291
seriesBlue Notes #6
charactersDavid Somers, Alex Bishop, Aiden Lind, Lord Cameron Sherrington, Galen Rusk
settingNew York City, New York (United States)

Books in the Blue Notes series can be read as standalones but it helps to read them in order to understand the various relationships and time line. Listed below are all the stories in the Blue Notes series. The author has noted that she considers it a series of interrelated, classical music themed standalone novels that can be read in any order.

Knowing (Blue Notes, #0.5) a free read at Goodreads
Blue Notes (Blue Notes, #1)
The Melody Thief (Blue Notes, #2)
Aria (Blue Notes, #3)
Prelude (Blue Notes, #4) by Shira Anthony and Venona Keyes
Encore (Blue Notes, #5)
Symphony in Blue (Blue Notes, #4.5)
Dissonance (Blue Notes #6)

Shira Anthony’s Dissonance Sountrack:
Dissonance Playlist:

Shira Anthony’s Blue Notes Series is Back! On Tour with Shira Anthony and Dissonance! (contest)

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Shira Anthony is here today on her Dissonance Book Tour!  In her Blue Notes series, each story has a musical title and that continues with Dissonance.  But what is dissonance and how does it relate to music?  Shira Anthony gives us some insight into her love of music, its many aspects and of course, how it fits into her latest release, Dissonance!

Contest:  There is a very special prize, a cuff inscribed with the NYC Subway on it,  associated with this tour.  Make sure to enter at the  Rafflecopter link   here or provided at the end of the post.   Good luck and of course, you must be 18 years of age or older to enter!

Striking the Right Note: Discord and Redemption, by Shira Anthony

Thanks, Melanie, for hosting me today! And thank you for the chance to talk about my newest book release, Dissonance, a Blue Notes novel. For those who might not have heard about the Blue Notes Series from Dreamspinner Press, these are interrelated, standalone books that can be read in any order. All of the books in the series share one common element: music.

I’ve been a musician nearly all my life. Being a musician isn’t only about performing or teaching—it’s about living with music. For me, music starts and ends my day. I usually have a stubborn ear worm playing on an endless feedback loop in my brain (that is, until another song or piece of music displaces the current ear worm!). I grew up singing. My mother is a professional musician. My sister and I both were, as well. It’s in my blood. It’s part of me. So I suppose it isn’t a big surprise that in my writing I use music to help bring emotions into focus.

Dissonance, the sixth novel in the series, is no exception. The title says it all. What is a “dissonance?” Here’s the Merriam-Webster definition: “a mingling of discordant sounds; especially :  a clashing or unresolved musical interval or chord.” In classical music written before the 20th Century, dissonances usually ended in resolution. You know what I’m talking about, even if you haven’t put a name to it. It’s the twang you hear before the music smoothes out and your ear says “ahhhhh.” Like the tension in a romance that builds and finally ends with the happily-ever-after. Your ear tells you it wants the tension in the music to resolve. Your human brain craves it. (If you’re interested, here’s a short Youtube video that explains consonance and dissonance .)

In the novel, Dissonance, Cam Sherrington’s life is all about dissonances. He loves opera singer Aiden Lind, but he cheats on him. He wants to do something more satisfying with his life than flitting from project to project, but he’s afraid he’ll fail so he doesn’t try. He’s burned plenty of bridges, and he’s convinced himself he isn’t worthy of friendship or love. He’s also tells himself he doesn’t need either, because if he admits that he cares, he’d hurt, and he doesn’t want to hurt.

If Cam’s life is a series of dissonances, then his happiness, if and when he finds it, is about the consonances. How do you find happiness when you’ve hurt people and, in the process hurt yourself? For Cam, his chance at redemption and happiness comes in the form of Galen Rusk, who plays in the New York City subway for tips. Galen’s Zen attitude and calm support are the consonances that help a broken Cam turn his life around. But before that can happen, Cam has become the kind-hearted man Galen believes him to be. He has to believe he’s worthy of redemption.

Dissonances are about striving for resolution. Moving toward the consonances. The tension we hear in dissonant sounds cries out for consonance. And that’s just what happens to Cam. He knows his life is empty, but until things come crashing down around him, he’s content to live in the dissonance. Through Galen’s calm and patient support, Cam has a chance at happiness. To find out whether he grabs that chance, you’ll have to read the story (no spoilers here!).

                   -Shira

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Book Name: Dissonance
Series:  Blue Notes
Author Name: Shira Anthony

Author Bio: In her last incarnation, Shira was a professional opera singer, performing roles in such operas as “Tosca,” “i Pagliacci,” and “La Traviata,” among others. She’s given up TV for evenings spent with her laptop, and she never goes anywhere without a pile of unread M/M romance on her Kindle.
Shira is married with two children and two insane dogs, and when she’s not writing she is usually in a courtroom trying to make the world safer for children. When she’s not working, she can be found aboard a 36’ catamaran at the Carolina coast with her favorite sexy captain at the wheel.

Author Links:

Dissonance-build-full-r2(1)Title:  Dissonance by Shira Anthony
Cover Artist: Catt Ford
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Buy Links:  Dreamspinner Press   Amazon       ARe (All Romance)

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Blurb:
British lord Cameron Sherrington has hit rock bottom. The love of his life, opera sensation Aiden Lind, is marrying another man, and Cam knows it’s his own fault for pushing Aiden away. Then someone tries to set him up and take away his family business. Facing arrest by US authorities on charges of money laundering and with no money to return to London, Cam decides to run. But with no money and no place to stay, it’s not exactly the Hollywood thriller he’d imagined.
When Cam hears Galen Rusk play in a lonely subway station, he’s intrigued. But his assumptions about Galen are all wrong, and their unusual relationship isn’t exactly what Cam bargained for. Add to that the nightmares that dog him nightly, and Cam’s world is shaken to its core. Cam figures he had it coming to him, that it’s all penance due on a life lived without honesty. He just never figured he might not be able to survive it.
Note: Blue Notes Series novels are standalone stories, and can be read in any order.

Excerpt:

“Oh.” Cam eyed the seat warily, his first thought that his black jeans would pick up the fur like a lint brush. Then he reminded himself that he’d been sleeping in the subway and a bit of fur was hardly the worst of what he might find on his pants. Still, as he settled into the seat, he dusted a few stray hairs off the armrest.

The drive through the Lincoln Tunnel and on into Jersey was an easy one, too late for there to be much traffic. Cam looked out the window, unwilling to engage Galen in conversation. Galen didn’t seem to mind. He whistled—a tune Cam recognized but couldn’t remember the name of—then tuned the radio to a jazz station that played bebop.

Thirty minutes later Galen exited the freeway, and they drove another ten minutes before turning down a small street lined with cookie-cutter houses. Postwar, Cam guessed, each with the same boxy structure, some with dormers, others with vinyl siding. Galen pulled into a driveway between two of the houses, but to Cam’s surprise, the driveway didn’t end at either house. It continued on, snaking behind them a few hundred feet to an old farmhouse. Probably the original house on the land that was now cluttered with homes. Built in the 1800s, he guessed.

A single light lit the walkway from the driveway to the front porch. White, with blue shutters, the house was nearly three times as large as its neighbors. A dog barked, although in the semidarkness, Cam couldn’t see it. Max, no doubt.

Cam followed Galen up the stairs and through the front door. Galen flipped on the light to reveal high ceilings and wide-planked wooden floors. To the right, in what Cam guessed was supposed to be the dining room, stood two trestles supporting a large piece of wood—a makeshift table stacked high with more than a dozen fiberglass cases and several instruments. On one side, Cam saw a battered french horn and what looked like a tuba; on the other side, a clarinet with some of its keys missing. Between the cases and the instruments were a bevy of tools, neatly arranged by size and shape, most of which Cam didn’t recognize. Maybe Galen repaired instruments on the side. Playing in the subway couldn’t pay that well.

600x600BannerDissonanceBlue3Tour Dates: 8/8 – 9/5

Tour Stops:
8/8 – Prism Book Alliance
8/11 – Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words
8/12 – Smoocher’s Voice
8/13 – Fallen Angel Reviews
8/14 – The Hat Party
8/15 – Amanda C. Stone
8/18 – Tara Lain
8/19 – The Novel Approach
8/20 – LeAnn’s Book Reviews
8/21 – Kimber Vale
8/22 – Full Moon Dreaming
8/25 – Love Bytes
8/26 – Book Reviews, Rants, and Raves
8/27 – Hearts on Fire
8/28 – Wicked Wolves and Dreaming Dragons
8/29 – Velvet Panic
9/1 – Decadent Delights
9/2 – Rainbow Gold Reviews
9/3 – My Fiction Nook
9/4 – Emotion in Motion
9/5 – BONUS DATES: MM Good Book Reviews, Book Suburbia
Rafflecopter Code: a Rafflecopter giveaway

Rafflecopter Prize: NYC Subway cuff.  Neat cuff that shows the subway system of NYC!
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Sunday expectations , Sounds of fall in the air and the week Ahead at ScatteredThoughts

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Sunday is  upon us once more.  How quickly it seems to come around each week.  Normally I would be outside planting, weeding, enjoying the gardens and the dogs but the sounds I hear lately remind me that fall is coming and preparations need to be made.   The whites, yellows and purples associated with late summer, early fall flowers are out in full force.  The “Daisy Mae:” Daisies are hanging in there, the Black-Eyed Susans have thwarted the deer, and the purples of liriope, False Dragonhead, and Great Blue Lobelias are just starting to make their presence known.

Overhead flocks of Canada Geese and Snow geese are reforming, heading to the marshes surrounding the Bay in huge masses, reading for migration and winter.  My feeders are being emptied at an astonishing rate after piddling interest all summer long.  Some leaves have started falling, and the sunlight has that slanted, cooler look to it that proclaims that the Summer Solstice has passed and it is filtering the landscape through an autumnal lens.

The pruning shears are out, the mulch bags waiting for someone other than me to cover the beds.  The hummingbirds are still here, the feeders still full, and the offerings in the yard are getting scarcer by the day.

It also means that GRL is fast approaching in October and I hope soon to be able to make an announcement about a new reviewer here at ScatteredThoughtsandRogueWords.  I love fall.  Its every bit as beautiful to me  as Spring and Summer. In fact it may be my favorite of all the Seasons.  Brisk, clean air that puts a snap to your step as your walk and a little color in your cheeks.  I know the dogs are happier…its terrier weather for sure.

Ahhh, the sounds of change is in the air…how sweet, how promising, how wonderful!

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Now for the upcoming week ahead at Scattered Thoughts….

Monday, August 11:

  • Blue Notes continues with Shira Anthony’s Dissonance Book Tour (contest)
  • Book Blast:  Cate Ashwood’s Wholehearted Audio Book Tour (contest)

Tuesday, August 12:

  • On Tour with Rory Ni Coileain’s SoulShares Series (contest)
  • Lou Hoffman is Here with Key of Behliseth, a YA Book Release (contest)
  • Review:  Dissonance by Shira Anthony

Wednesday, August 13:

  • Review: Wicked Winds by Havan Fellows
  • Review: Out in the Cold by Lee Brazil

Thursday, August 14:

  • In the Author Spotlight: Jason Lloyd and his release, Queer Dirty Laundry (contest)
  • Review:  Devil’s Own by Susan Laine

Friday, August 15:

  • In the Author Spotlight:  Lee Brazil on Writing, In From the Cold, and More (contest)
  • Review: You Can’t Go Home Again by Michael Murphy

Saturday, August 16:

    • Review: Queer Dirty Laundry by Jason Lloyd