Posts Tagged With: Shira Anthony

Honorary Blogger Shira Anthony: Writing the Perfect(ly Flawed) Romantic Hero + Excerpt & Giveaway!

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Writing the Perfect(ly Flawed) Romantic Hero

by Shira Anthony

Thank you, Blogger Girls, for hosting the first stop on the Swann’s Revenge Book Tour! I’m so happy to share my latest entry in the Dreamspun Desires line of romance-forward, tropey love stories from Dreamspinner Press. Be sure to read to the bottom of the post about how to enter to win a cool unisex leather heart bracelet to celebrate the book tour and read an excerpt from the story.

No matter how you look at it, there’s no denying that romances are all about the characters. It’s about falling in love as you read. Dreamspun Desires, like any great category romances along the lines of a Harlequin, are full of wonderful tropes: the arranged marriage, the secret baby, mistaken identify, or, as in the case of Swann’s Revenge, the ugly-duckling.

But characters, too, have their tropes. The damaged hero with the heart of gold. The once-burned, now closed-off man who doesn’t think he’s ready to love again. The playboy who hide his loneliness. You get the picture. Each of these characters, and the million variations on them, are what live and breathe at the heart of every romance.

So what’s the common denominator here? They all have flaws, just like real human beings. A story about a perfect relationship with no challenges is boring. The same is true for our MCs. Perfect isn’t fun, and it isn’t realistic, so we don’t buy in to the characters or root for them when life, and love, present them with challenges.

Swann’s Revenge is the love story of two very different men, Graham (our ugly-duckling-turned-hotter-than-hell-swan) and Dan, the former high school star quarterback. Both have flaws, although the story is mostly about how Graham comes to terms with his past. Dan is easy to love. He’s sweet, he’s figured out who he is, and he’s confident without being overbearing. Graham, on the other hand, is a bit more difficult to love. But Dan sees the heart hiding behind Graham’s carefully built walls, and he doesn’t give up easily.

Who’s my favorite of the two? Graham. In a heartbeat. And not because he’s drop-dead gorgeous. It’s because I absolutely love a flawed hero who hides his heart. I’ve written more than a few of them over the years, my favorite of which is David Somers, the conductor from the Blue Notes Series, who’s heart begins to thaw when he hears the beautiful music coming from Alex Bishop’s violin. Sure, Alex is easier to love, just as Dan is in Swann’s Revenge, but I personally adore seeing love do its healing work.

Not to say that Dan doesn’t have his own issues (spoilery, so I won’t talk about them here), but watching Graham Swann blossom into a truly happy man is what Swann’s Revenge is all about.

Happy reading, and don’t forget to comment on this post to be entered to win the cool unisex “Follow your heart” bracelet I’m giving away at the end of the tour! -Shira Continue reading

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Categories: Book Promo, Excerpts, Giveaways, Honorary Blogger Post, LGBT, Published in 2018 | Tags: , , , , | 6 Comments

Book Review: Swann’s Revenge by Shira Anthony

Reviewed by Nikyta

Title: Swann’s Revenge
Author: Shira Anthony
Series: Dreamspun Desires
Heroes: Graham & Dan
Genre: M/M Contemporary
Length: 224 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: February 6, 2018
Available at: Dreamspinner Press & Amazon
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads

Blurb: Can a swan make peace with his ugly duckling past?

Chubby geek Jimmy Zebulon’s heart broke the day his high school crush, Danny Parker, looked on as his teammates tormented Jimmy. Fifteen years later, Jimmy is long gone, and from his ashes has risen Graham Swann, a movie-star-handsome law firm owner. Graham thinks Jimmy and his past are long forgotten—until attorney Dan Parker shows up for his first day of work.

Getting injured playing college ball was the best thing that ever happened to Dan. It turned his future in a better direction and allowed him to emerge from the closet that trapped him.

Graham wants to believe his childhood dream can come true, but he can’t bring himself to tell Dan who he really is—and their pasts might ruin any chance for a happily ever after…. Continue reading

Categories: 4.5 Star Ratings, Book Review, LGBT, Nikyta's Reviews, Published in 2018 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Book Review: Finder’s Keeper by Shira Anthony

Reviewed by Nikyta

Title: Finder’s Keeper
Author: Shira Anthony
Series: Heart’s Gate #1
Heroes: Kit & Zane
Genre: M/M Paranormal
Length: 236 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: September 15, 2017
Available at: Dreamspinner Press & Amazon
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads

Blurb: The truth might ruin his dreams—or make them come true.

When Zane moves into an old gothic brownstone, he discovers the house comes equipped with a caretaker—Kit, who lives in the basement. Zane is immediately drawn to the charming and attractive Kit. But Kit is much more than he seems. He is a two-hundred-year-old half-human, half–red-fox spirit who guards a Gate between the mortal and spirit worlds—a fact Zane should recognize, but doesn’t.

Orphaned at a young age, Zane never learned he comes from a long line of mystical Keepers. Kit needs Zane’s help to protect the Gate, but how can he tell Zane of his legacy when that will crush Zane’s dreams of traveling the world? If he takes up the mantle, Zane will be bound to the Gate, unable to leave it. But when Zane realizes Kit’s true nature, and his own, he’ll have to make a choice—fight to protect Kit and the Gate, or deny his destiny and any chance of a future with Kit. Continue reading

Categories: 4 Star Ratings, Book Review, LGBT, Nikyta's Reviews, Published in 2017 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Book Review: Forgotten Paradise by Shira Anthony

Reviewed by Morgan 

Title: Forgotten Paradise
Author: Shira Anthony
Series: Dreamspun Desires #32
Heroes: Adam Preston/Jonah James
Genre: MM Contemporary
Length: 238 Pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: April 15, 2017
Available at:  Amazon and Barnes & Noble
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads

Blurb:  It’s dangerous diving for secrets.

When a mega company threatens to take over his family-owned business, programming prodigy Adam Preston escapes the stress with a much-needed vacation in the Dominican Republic. There he meets attractive, intelligent, insightful Jonah James, a scuba dive instructor, and what starts as a holiday fling soon blossoms into much more.

But Jonah has a secret: ten years ago he woke up on an island beach with no idea how he got there… or even who he is. Their paradise may not be as perfect as it seems. When Jonah’s memories come crashing back like waves on the sand, will it be Adam clinging to the proverbial life raft, or will the two men find a safe harbor to ride out the storm?
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Categories: 3.5 Star Ratings, Book Review, LGBT, Morgan's Reviews, Published in 2017 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Book Review: Once Upon a Time in the Weird West Anthology

Reviewed by Ami

32964981Title: Once Upon a Time in the Weird West
Authors: Tricia Kristufek, Astrid Amara, Langley Hyde, Ginn Hale, Nicole Kimberling, C.S. Poe, Lex Chase, Venona Keyes, Tali Spencer, Shira Anthony, Kim Fielding, Jana Denardo, Andrew Q. Gordon, Jamie Fessenden
Genre: MM Miscellaneous
Length: 466 Pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: December 16, 2016
Available at:  Amazon and Barnes & Noble
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads

Blurb:  This isn’t the same old Wild West. The usual suspects are all present: cowboys, outlaws, and sheriffs. There’s plenty of dust, tumbleweeds, horses, and cattle on the range, but there are also magical gems, automatons, elementals, airships… even dinosaurs and genetically modified insects. Roaming among the buffalo and coyotes, you’ll encounter skinwalkers, mad engineers, mythical beings cloaked in darkness, and lovers who stay true to their oaths… even beyond the grave. On this frontier are those at the mercy of their own elaborate devices as well as men whose control of time and space provides a present-day vision of the West. There might even be a dragon hidden amongst the ghost towns and wagon trains.

If you like your Westerns with a splash of magic, a touch of steampunk, and plenty of passionate romance between men, these genre-bending tales will exceed expectations.

Hold on to your hats, cowboys and cowgirls. The West is about to get weird, and you’re in for a hell of a ride.
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Categories: 4 Star Ratings, Ami's Reviews, Book Review, LGBT, Published in 2016 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Book Review: First Comes Marriage by Shira Anthony

Reviewed by Nikyta

27037214Title: First Comes Marriage
Author: Shira Anthony
Series: Dreamspun Desires
Heroes: Chris & Jesse
Genre: M/M Contemporary
Length: 262 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: January 15, 2016
Available at: Dreamspinner PressAmazon
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads

Blurb: Their marriage was supposed to be all business….

When struggling novelist Chris Valentine meets Jesse Donovan, he’s interested in a book contract, or possibly a date. The last thing Chris expects is a marriage proposal from New York City’s most eligible bachelor!

Jesse’s in a pinch. To keep control of his company, he has to marry. So he has valid reasons for offering Chris this business deal: in exchange for living in a gorgeous mansion for a year, playing the doting husband, Chris gets all the writing time he wants and walks away with a million-dollar payoff. Surely Chris can handle that. He can handle living with the most handsome and endearing man he’s ever met, a man he immediately knows he wants in the worst way and can’t have. Or can he?
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Categories: 3.5 Star Ratings, Book Review, LGBT, Nikyta's Reviews, Published in 2016 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Audio Review: Encore by Shira Anthony

Reviewed by: Morgan

EncoreAUDTitle: Encore
Author: Shira Anthony
Narrator: Andrew McFerrin
Series: Blue Notes #5
Heroes: Roger Nelson/John Fuchs
Genre: MM Contemporary
Length: 8 Hours, 57 Minutes
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: November 9, 2015
Available at: Amazon, Audible and iTunes
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads

Blurb: Cool kid violinist Roger Nelson doesn’t give a damn about anything. Wannabe conductor John Fuchs is awkward, effeminate, and just figuring out he’s gay. Despite their differences, they become friends—then lovers—and after college, they try to make it work. But it’s the 1970s, and Roger can’t bring himself to admit he’s gay. Worse, after his brother is killed in Vietnam, Roger tries to live up to his memory and be the perfect son. Then after suffering one tragedy too many, he makes the biggest mistake of his life: Roger pushes John away.

Through the years, they dance around the truth and in and out of each other’s lives, never quite able to let go. Twenty years later, Roger still carries the pain of losing his dream of a brilliant career with him, while John is a superstar conductor with a wild reputation. John’s off-stage antics get him plenty of attention, good and bad, though deep down, he wants only Roger. Finally determined to hold on to what really matters, Roger asks John for another chance, and when John panics and runs, Roger has to convince him to listen to his heart.

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Categories: 5 Star Ratings, Audio Review, LGBT, Published in 2015 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Book Review: A Solitary Man by Shira Anthony and Aisling Mancy

Guest Reviewed by Morgan 

26683500Title: A Solitary Man
Authors: Shira Anthony and Aisling Mancy
Heroes: C. Evan “Chance” Fairchild/Xavier “Xav” Constantine
Genre: MM contemporary
Length: 304 Pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: November 6, 2015
Available at:  Amazon and Barnes & Noble
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads

Blurb:  Sparks fly when Chance meets tall, sexy Xav at a Wilmington bar and they have the hottest one-nighter of their lives. But Chance doesn’t do repeats, Xav seems detached, and they go their separate ways without a word. Later, when closeted Assistant District Attorney C. Evan “Chance” Fairchild meets Dare’s Landing’s newest deputy sheriff, Xavier “Xav” Constantine, Evan isn’t only wary. He’s irritated as hell.

Xavier is a former FBI agent turned deputy sheriff who is hot on the trail of a South American child prostitution ring. Evan is fighting to put an end to rampant cocaine trafficking and chafing under the thumb of an election-hungry boss. When someone tries to kill the eleven-year-old witness who holds the key to both their investigations, they’re forced to work together as they put their lives on the line to protect him. As Chance and Xav collide in the heat of a sweltering North Carolina summer, dodging bullets and chasing bad guys isn’t the only action going on.
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Categories: 5 Star Ratings, Book Review, Guest Reviewer, LGBT, Published in 2015 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Audio Review: Melody Thief by Shira Anthony

Reviewed by Morgan

MelodyThiefAUDMEDTitle: Melody Thief
Author: Shira Anthony
Narrator: Peter B. Brooke
Series: Blue Notes #2
Heroes: Cary Redding/Antonio Bianchi
Genre: MM Contemporary
Length: 7 Hours, 47 Minutes
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: August 11, 2015
Available at: Amazon, Audible and iTunes
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads

Blurb: Cary Redding is a walking contradiction. On the surface he’s a renowned cellist, sought after by conductors the world over. Underneath, he’s a troubled man flirting with addictions to alcohol and anonymous sex. The reason for the discord? Cary knows he’s a liar, a cheat. He’s the melody thief.

Cary manages his double life just fine until he gets mugged on a deserted Milan street. Things look grim until handsome lawyer Antonio Bianchi steps in and saves his life. When Antonio offers something foreign to Cary—romance—Cary doesn’t know what to do. But then things get even more complicated. For one thing, Antonio has a six-year-old son. For another, Cary has to confess about his alter ego and hope Antonio forgives him.

Just when Cary thinks he’s figured it all out, past and present collide and he is forced to choose between the family he wanted as a boy and the one he has come to love as a man.
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Categories: 4 Star Ratings, Audio Review, LGBT, Published in 2015 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment