Shira Anthony's Blog - Posts Tagged "contest"

descriptionTwo days and counting to the Hop Against Homophobia blog hop! Come join me and several hundred (yes, really, several HUNDRED!) other writers, reviewers, sellers and publishers of M/M fiction as we talk about the genre we adore and raise awareness of the fight against homophobia. Each blogger is offering a M/M prize, so there'll be lots of great writing to go around.

I'll be posting excerpts from my upcoming releases, talking about my experiences living in North Carolina and homophobia (yes, the state that just outlawed gay marriage in the state constitution...sigh), and giving away an ebook copy of your choice of one of my Dreamspinner Press books: "The Dream of a Thousand Nights," "Blue Notes," or my soon to be released, "The Trust." (That last one is scheduled to be released on June 18, 2012, so you can be one of the first in line to receive a copy if you're patient.)

So check my blog ( on May 17th for the first of several posts, as well as links to blogs of all the other wonderful folks who are participating. I can't wait! -Shira
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Published on May 15, 2012 17:07 • 162 views • Tags: blog-hop, contest, gay, glbt, m-m
The Trust by Shira AnthonyJust a little over a week until The Trust is released from Dreamspinner Press! You can win an ebook copy (your choice of format) of the novel by leaving a message here on my blog (WordPress or Goodreads) anytime until midnight EST on 6/18! Be sure to leave an email so I can let you know if you're the winner. You can also enter to win a paperback copy on Goodreads (ends 6/19).

The Trust is a gay romance/suspense thriller with bit of a sci fi twist (think gay James Bond with some really cool gizmos!). Oh, and a HEA, of course! And if you're looking to read an excerpt from the book, I have two on my blog, (the first is an action scene, and the second is a bit hotter). I can't wait! -Shira

Here's the summary:

Eight years ago, Jake Anders was a college kid from the wrong side of the tracks. Then Trace Michelson recruited him into The Trust, a CIA-backed agency whose “executives” eliminate rogue biotechnology operations. Trace was everything Jake ever wanted in a man: powerful, brilliant, and gorgeous. But Jake never admitted his attraction to his mentor, and Trace always kept Jake at arm’s length.

Now Trace is dead and Jake is one of The Trust’s best operatives, highly skilled and loyal to the organization. But the secret agent has his own secret: six years ago, before he was assassinated, Trace designed a Sim chip containing his memories and experiences—and now that chip is part of Jake. It’s just data, designed to augment Jake’s knowledge, but when Sim becomes reality, Jake wonders if Trace is still alive or if Jake really is going crazy like everyone claims. He doesn’t know if he can trust himself, let alone anyone else.

To learn the truth about Trace and the chip, Jake embarks on a dangerous mission—except he’s not the only one looking for the information. Some of the answers are locked in his head, and unless he finds the key, he’ll be killed for the technology that’s become a part of him.

Now, more than ever, Jake wishes Trace were here to guide him. Too bad he’s dead... right?
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Published on June 08, 2012 10:55 • 212 views • Tags: contest, dreamspinner, ebook-contest, gay, glbt, m-m, m-m-rom, mm, new-release, paperback-giveaway, romance, shira-anthony, upcoming-release
All I Ever Learned About Romance I Learned from Reading Yaoi (Well, Almost!)

Stop by my blog today, June 22-24th to check out the Manga and Romance Blog Hop! Read about my introduction to gay romance through yaoi and leave a comment to win a free ebook copy of your choice of my Dreamspinner Press releases and check out the other participating blogs. There's also a grand prize link where you can sign up the BIG pot of goodies!

Have a great yaoi weekend! -Shira
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Published on June 22, 2012 04:05 • 183 views • Tags: blog-hop, contest, dreamspinner, gay, gay-romance, glbt, mm, mm-romance, new-release, shira-anthony, yaoi
For the last day of the Romance and Manga Blog Hop, I thought I’d share an excerpt from my upcoming release, “The Melody Thief (Blue Notes #2).” Release date is 8/24/12 from Dreamspinner Press. This is from Chapter Four. A little background – Antonio rescues Cary from a mugging on a Milan street and offers Cary spend the night at his place so there’s someone to watch him after he suffers a concussion. Cary wakes up the next morning to a little complication.

Don’t forget to leave a comment at to be entered to win a copy of one of my Dreamspinner Press titles (including “Blue Notes,” the first in the series). Also be sure to enter the grand prize drawing and check out all the other participating blogs at!
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Published on June 24, 2012 07:53 • 151 views • Tags: blog-hop, blue-notes, contest, giveaway, glbt, mm, mm-rom, shira-anthony, upcoming-release
The Melody Thief by Shira Anthony July has been a great month in so many ways! It started out with my submitting the third Blue Notes Series book to Dreamspinner Press and wonderful critical reviews of my latest DSP release, The Trust, which I co-authored with my old friend Venona Keyes. Jessewave called The Trust "science fiction at its best!" Not to mention the wonderful vacation with my husband of 20 years in the Caribbean where we both got open water certification in scuba diving.

Last week, I had the pleasure of spending time writing with my good friend and fellow DSP author, E.M. Lynley. We're working on an exciting joint project. Our week together ended with two new contracts from Dreamspinner - one for each of us! Oh, and yummy ginger martinis E.m. invented.

This week started with me receiving the final artwork for the cover of my upcoming release, The Melody Thief, the second in the Blue Notes series. Release date for Thief is August 24th, so check my website,, in the upcoming weeks for excerpts and contests.

Of course, I'm still working on several other projects, including the planned fourth book in the Blue Notes series, Prelude. It's always good to be busy, but it's great to sit back and just smile when the hard work pays off! -Shira
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My guest today is E.M. Lynley, who has a new release from Dreamspinner Press in the Precious Gems Series. I really enjoyed the first book in the series, Rarer than Rubies , so I was particularly thrilled when E.M. asked me to beta read the second, Italian Ice . I loved it even more than the first, and now that I've fallen hard for Reed and Trent, I'm going to make sure E.M. writes another book in the series!

Precious Gems is a mixture of adventure, mystery, and romance featuring an ex-FBI agent and a gay romance writer. Each story takes the reader to an exotic locale, all of which E.M. has either visited or lived in (not that I'm jealous or anything!). This latest installment is set in one of the most romantic places on the planet - Italy. But I'll let E.M. tell you all about that. And when you're done reading, comment for a chance to win your choice of Italian Ice or the first book in the series, Rarer Than Rubies in ebook format. One winner will be chosen on Saturday, August 4th.

Welcome, E.M.! -Shira


Italian Ice by EM Lynley (Precious Gems Book 2)

A nice relaxing and romantic vacation in Italy. That's what gay-romance writer Trent Copeland expected when he and former FBI-agent Reed Acton set off from Los Angeles after living together for six months after the events of Rarer Than Rubies (Precious Gems Book 1). But Reed's past caught up with them from halfway around the world and threw their plans right out the window.

While this book is part mystery and part adventure, it's one hundred percent romance. And that was part of the challenge—and the fun—of writing about this newly established couple who are still getting to know each other. Both Reed and Trent have preconceived notions about the other one, and both are wrong. In the end they surprise each other—and themselves in just how far they'll go to protect their relationship.

With Trent and Reed I created a couple who at first seem to be polar opposites: Trent likes fancy restaurants, classic films and won't go anywhere without his creature comforts—including his favorite body wash. Reed is used to fighting for survival and he'd be able to kill or catch his own dinner if necessary, because before he met Trent, it used to be. Now they're figuring out how to live with each other. Throw them in the path of a deadly international smuggling ring and no amount of body wash can clean things up enough to forget a murdered FBI agent. Add in Reed's unfinished business with his old partner—in every sense of the word—and Trent and Reed have their work cut out for them just to stay alive, much less keep their romance alive.

I didn't want the trip to be too rough, so I set the story in one of the most amazing places in the world: a chain of volcanic islands off the coast of Sicily. In a rare chance for some free time they even spend the night at the crater of the most active volcano in Europe: Stromboli.

But in the end, it's Trent and Reed's feelings for each other that drive their actions and after a few weeks in Italy, neither will ever doubt the other's commitment. Now that's what I call a happily ever after.

Read an excerpt

Buy from Dreamspinner, Amazon or ARe.


EM Lynley writes for Dreamspinner, Silver and Torquere and edits for several other publishers. She has worked in finance, the wine industry, and high tech, though she'd rather be writing hot, sexy man-on-man action. She spent 10 years as an economist and financial analyst, including a year as a White House Staff Economist, but only because all the intern positions were filled. Tired of boring herself and others with dry business reports and articles, her creative muse is back and naughtier than ever. She has lived and worked in London, Tokyo and Washington, D.C., but the San Francisco Bay Area is home for now.
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Published on August 02, 2012 09:58 • 163 views • Tags: contest, dreamspinner, e-m-lynley, fan-fiction, gay, gay-romance, giveaway, glbt, m-m, m-m-rom, mm-romance, mystery, new-release, shira-anthony, suspense, yaoi

I'm getting the release party for The Melody Thief started a little early with a contest to win a Blue Notes t-shirt. All you have to do to be entered in the drawing is comment on my blog by midnight on Saturday (August 11th) and tell me what your favorite kind of music is. T-shirts are size men's XL, white cotton, with the gorgeous Anne Cain cover from the first Blue Notes book. You only have until Saturday at midnight to enter for the t-shirt drawing, so don't forget to leave a comment!

All entries will also automatically be entered into the drawing to win an ebook copy (format of your choice) of The Melody Thief in the giveaway contest that ends on 8/23. And don't forget to enter to win a copy (autographed, if you wish) of the paperback version on Goodreads.

For those of you who haven't already read the blurb for The Melody Thief, here it is:

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.

Want to read an excerpt? Click here and scroll down to click on the "excerpt" tab.

Good luck! -Shira
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The winner of the t-shirt giveaway is Dianne! Congrats. I'll be contacting you by email. Don't forget that everyone who commented is still entered to win a copy of The Melody Thief in the ebook format of their choice. I'll be running another contest next week for more swag, so stay tuned! Don't forget you can also enter to win a copy (autographed, if you wish) of the paperback version of Melody Thief on Goodreads.

Thanks to everyone who entered and told me about their favorite music! I've got a few bands I'm going to be looking up. XD In the meantime, if you like classical, or are just curious, you can listen to some of the music from The Melody Thief by clicking here and scrolling down to the "Book Extras" tab and clicking on the link. You'll find links to free recordings there. -Shira
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Published on August 12, 2012 10:30 • 165 views • Tags: blue-notes, contest, dreamspinner, gay, glbt, m-m-rom, mm, mm-rom, romance, shira-anthony, upcoming-release
Thanks to everyone who stopped by for the Rainbow Blog Hop and to help celebrate the release of my latest Dreamspinner Press book, "The Melody Thief!" It was great to hear your thoughts about MM romance and why it's so special to you.

I'm amazed at how many comments there were, and how insightful. So many, in fact, that I've decided to throw one more copy of the original "Blue Notes" into the mix! So we have three winners. *g* The winners of the ebook copy of "Blue Notes" are: Sandra and Zoe! The winner of the Blue Notes Series t-shirt (your choice of covers) is Tali! I'll be emailing you shortly.

If you haven't already, be sure to check out "The Melody Thief." It's available for purchase on Dreamspinner Press's website, Amazon, and AllRomanceEbooks. To read and excerpt or find out more about the "soundtrack" to the story, click here and scroll down to click on the links.

Hope you all have a terrific week! -Shira
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Welcome to day two of the Howloween Blog Hop! Be sure to check out all the other wonderful blogs taking part in the hop by clicking on the graphic or the link above. Each blogger is offering wonderful prizes, so be sure to check them all out!

My prize? An ebook copy of your choice of my Dreamspinner Press releases. You can check them all out here or by clicking on the "My Books" link to the left of this post. Enter by commenting on this post, and don't forget to leave your email address so I can contact you if you win! I'll be drawing a winner on October 30th.


For day two of the hop, and in honor of Halloween, one of my favorite holidays, I thought I'd share my own personal horror story from my real life opera career. I've already told you that in my various roles I've been stabbed to death, jumped to my death, and died of consumption (at least twice). I also got to stab a villain to death in "Tosca," which was a lot of fun. (I know, I'm a little twisted!) And, by the way, one of my boys in "Aria" (Blue Notes #3), plays the part of the villain I got to stab.

[caption id="attachment_1172" align="alignright" width="277"] Me on stage at the famous La Scala Opera. Okay. Not me. In my dreams![/caption]

Part of any opera singer's training involves stage combat. At one point, I actually knew how to use a sword (not very well, but I did know how to use one). I knew how to pull a punch, slap someone across the face, pull someone by their hair, and, most importantly, how to stab someone. I also knew how to get stabbed. Or maybe I should say I knew how to avoid getting stabbed for real with a knife.

Yes. Most operatic "stabbings" are done with REAL knives. Which, believe it or not, is usually the safest type of knife to use. I say "usually," because in my personal experience, there was one production that left me wondering.

[caption id="attachment_1174" align="alignleft" width="240"] Luciano Pavarotti in "I Pagliacci"[/caption]

One of the first roles I ever performed was Nedda in "I Pagliacci." If you've seen a crying clown singing opera in a commercial, that's "Pagliacci." Nedda is the wife of the crying clown and one of the members of the troupe of performers who travel from town to town, entertaining the local folks. She was rescued from the streets when she was very young and, well, she's not so happily married to the ageing head of the troupe. She's getting a little something on the side from a very handsome young baritone. She also is fighting off another troupe member who insists on trying to rape her.

So here I am, maybe 25, singing in California with a tenor who was well past his prime (but perfect for the role). And he's a little iffy, in many ways. And I'm being shoved around by a very nice baritone (the one who tries to rape my character) who gets a bit carried away with the emotion of the scene. Hence the finger-sized bruises on my upper arms. I can handle that. Bruises fade, and he really didn't mean to grip my arms quite so hard.

The tenor, on the other hand, is a problem. The last scene in the opera, he's found out I've been cheating on him, and that I plan to run away with the handsome baritone. He's not very happy about that (understatement of the century). At the end of the scene, where we are both in clown makeup and supposedly putting on our play for the audience, the tenor is supposed to grab a knife off the table and stab both me and the cutie pie I'm trying to run off with. I'm cool with that. What I'm not so cool with is that in rehearsals, we didn't yet have the knife, so the tenor was using a spoon on us. And really JABBING us in the gut with it. Ouch!

[caption id="attachment_1171" align="alignleft" width="264"] Interior of the La Scala opera house in Milan, Italy[/caption]

At this point, the baritone says, "Time out!" Mind you, he and I were both thinking, "If this guy's going to use a real knife on us, we're going to get hurt." Yes, they dull the knives, but a butter knife can still end up in your belly. Not a good thing. Enter the propmistress. She's the person who provides us with the knives.

We discuss a collapsible knife. You've seen these, I'm guessing. Hard plastic, and when you press the blade against something, it slips inside the handle of the knife. But they tend to jam. Baritone and I are thinking, "That would hurt like hell." Not an option.

[caption id="attachment_1173" align="alignright" width="240"] Rubber Knife[/caption]

We discuss a rubber knife. Wobbles like a rubber chicken. Totally unconvincing. Not an option.

Back to the real knife.

And so it went for days. Seriously! And over that time, the tenor got more and more iffy. He's still not getting his musical cues, he is missing entrances all over the place, and still stabbing us with the spoons. The baritone and I put our collective feet down. Finally, the tenor has a hissy fit in front of the entire cast and quits. Just like that.

Did I mention that "I Pagliacci" is usually performed with another short opera, "Cavalleria Rusticana?" Thank God for that! Turns out the tenor singing in THAT cast knows the role in "I Pagliacci." He is totally professional and steps into the role with only a week of rehearsals. So in the end, we got stabbed with a real knife. I ended up with a bunch of bruises and a rave review in the San Francisco Examiner. No puncture wounds, though!

By the way, in case you're interested in how you "stab" someone with a real knife and make it look real? The person doing the stabbing has their back to the audience and holds the knife where everyone can see. They make a pretty obvious stabbing movement toward the belly of the person being stabbed and, as they come in to do the stabbing, they flatten the knife and literally lay it across the other person's gut. Believe me, it looks pretty damn convincing. The person getting stabbed grabs their abdomen and falls to his/her knees, writhing in pain, then becomes still. Or maybe sings an aria and then dies (this IS opera, after all!).

Hope you enjoyed my little story. Entirely true, all of it. Ah, the glamorous life of an opera singer. -Shira

PS: Did I mention there was an earthquake during rehearsals and that this was performed in Oakland, CA, about a year after the big quake that brought down part of the Bay Bridge?
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Published on October 26, 2012 03:17 • 300 views • Tags: blog-hop, contest, dreamspinner, gay, giveaway, glbt, lgbt, mm, mm-rom