Blog Tour: “The Stars May Rise & Fall” by Estella Mirai. Includes an Amazon Gift Card Giveaway!

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Book Title: The Stars May Rise and Fall

An M/M retelling of Phantom of the Opera set in turn-of-the-millennium Japan

Author: Estella Mirai

Publisher: Self-published

Cover Artist: MiblArt

Genre/s: M/M romance, contemporary

Heat Rating: 2 flames

Length: 90 000 words/320 pages

It is a standalone story.

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Blurb

Teru came to Tokyo with dreams of making it big in the glam-metal visual kei scene, but three years later, all he has to show for it is a head of hot pink hair and some skill with an eyeliner pencil. He may look the part, but he doesn’t sound it, and constant bickering among his bandmates has him worried about his future. When he finds a mysterious business card in his bag, he’s willing to take any help he can get.

Help comes in the form of Rei, a crippled, disfigured composer whose own career was ended by an accident before it had really begun. With Teru’s voice and looks, and Rei’s money and songwriting skills, both of their dreams seem about to come true – but a forbidden kiss and a late-night confession threaten to tear it all apart. Now Teru, who has spent most of his life denying his attraction to men, and Rei, who vowed long ago never to love again, must reconcile their feelings with their careers – and with their carefully constructed ideas of themselves.



THE STARS MAY RISE AND FALL is an M/M retelling of Phantom of the Opera, set in Tokyo at the turn of the millennium. It comes with a healthy dose of angst and a dollop of nostalgia, as well as an age-difference romance, a physically disabled love interest, and memorable characters who will stay with you long after the pages are closed.

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Excerpt

I can help you. Call me.

Teru ran his finger around the edge of the card. Maybe it had been a mistake. Should he call, and let whoever had left it know?

He opened the window and lit a cigarette. The smoke floated out into the muggy Tokyo night.

“This is stupid,” he said aloud. “It’s one in the morning. Whoever it is, they’re asleep.”

But Teru wasn’t asleep. His bandmates probably weren’t asleep either. If it was a musician who had left the card, one in the morning was better than one in the afternoon.

I can help you. Call me.

He picked up his phone and dialed.

It rang once, twice—and Teru cut the connection. This is stupid. But he didn’t feel stupid. He felt guilty, like he’d been doing something he shouldn’t.

He stubbed out the cigarette and walked across the room to the refrigerator. Nothing but a pack of noodles and a flat Diet Coke. Even though he’d already had a couple with the guys after the show, what Teru really needed was a beer.

On the other side of the room, the phone rang.

The floor was littered with clothes and magazines and Playstation controllers. Teru almost tripped as he lunged for the phone, and then only crouched there, watching it, with his nerves wrapped around his voice box like a snake. There was no name with the number, but Teru knew it by heart. He’d only been staring at it for the past hour.

The ringing stopped. An engine rumbled outside Teru’s window, and a train clattered over distant tracks. Upstairs, slippered feet padded across a tatami floor. The air was thick with an anticipation far from silence—but just as easily shattered by the trill of a different ring.

Teru’s fingers fumbled to open the text.

I heard you sing.

He stared, waiting for the words to sink in. They didn’t, though. They made no sense.

It had only been a mistake after all.

You’ve got the wrong number, he replied. This is Teru, the drummer for La Rose Verboten. I don’t sing.

And then: You should.

The phone rang again.

“Hello?”

“You have a beautiful voice.”

It wasn’t Yasu. It wasn’t anyone he knew.

“Hello?” Teru repeated. “Who is this?”

“A friend.” The voice was male, deep and effortlessly sensual in a way that Seika would have envied. It made Teru distinctly uncomfortable.

“Look,” Teru said. “I think you want Bara. I’m not the singer. I’m the drummer. The one with pink hair?”

“I heard you,” the man pressed. “In the dressing room. I can help you.”

In the dressing room? There’d been no one else in there.

“Is this some kind of joke?”

“Not at all.”

“What do you want?” Teru whispered.

“To teach you. To help you. Will you meet with me?”

Teru’s palms were sweaty, his face flushed. It was partly exhaustion, partly a lingering buzz… but it was more than that. He felt dirty. This was worse than what he felt with Seika—and it was just a voice on the goddamn phone.

“There’s a studio in Koenji,” he heard himself say.

“No!” the man snapped, and he took a sharp, hissing breath. “No studios. You may come to my apartment.”

“Your apartment?”

“Please. It is… difficult, for me to go out.”

“Um… okay.” What the hell did that mean?

“I live in Meguro,” the man said. “Near the live house. I can send you the address. If you’ll come.” There was a plea in his voice, a quiet desperation. Teru swallowed, hard.

“You want to give me singing lessons?”

“Yes.”

This was insane. “When?”

“Whenever you are free.”

Teru glanced at his calendar. June, 2000. Three years, almost to the day, since he had stepped off the night bus from Niigata. After all that time, he didn’t even have anything to lose.

About the Author

Estella Mirai lives just outside of Tokyo with her human family and a very spoiled lap cat. When she isn’t reading or writing, she works in editing and translation—which means that 99% percent of her day is usually words. In her minimal free time, she enjoys watching musicals, cooking (badly), and slaughtering power ballads at karaoke.

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BLOG TOUR: Why I . . . Series Blog & Giveaway

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Book Title: Why I Left You, Why I Need You, Why I Trust You

(available individually or in an omnibus edition)

Author: Colette Davison

Publisher: Self-Published

Genre/s: gay contemporary romance

Heat Rating: 4 flames

Length: Why I Left you: 296 pages; Why I Need You: 320 pages; Why I Trust You: 300 pages.

They are a loosely linked series, but can all be read as standalones.

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Blurb Why I Left You Jamie is struggling with university, money and depression. The last thing he needs is for Brett—the guy who left him four years ago—to walk back into his life. Yet it could be just what he needs. Ever since Jamie left him, Brett has been running away from commitment. But when he meets Jamie again, he’s forced to re-examine every aspect of his life. Brett and Jamie are drawn back together by an undeniable spark, but unless they can come to terms with the past, their relationship won’t survive the present. Why I Need You Following the death of their parents, Fin put his life on hold to raise his little sister. He’s convinced her well-being is all that matters, even if it’s at the expense of his own. A chance meeting with Noah opens his eyes to the possibility of happiness. A happiness that could shatter the moment Noah discovers Fin has an eight-year-old in tow. Noah has been living a lie for years. When he gets publicly outed, he gets kicked out of his parents’ home and business. Although he’s angry at being disowned, Noah knows it means he’s finally free to love whomever he wants. But in order to have a fulfilling and lasting relationship, Noah has to get past his repressed upbringing and inhibitions, before Fin walks out of his life. In order to stay together, Fin and Noah have to be brave enough to be honest with themselves and each other. Why I Trust You Martin is the larger than life funny guy, the one who’s quick to soothe other’s pain, whilst hiding his own. He wants nothing more than to find ‘the one’, but his love life consists of a string of break-ups. He’s close to giving up on love, until he meets Ryan online, the artist whose work speaks to his soul. There are just two problems: Ryan already has a boyfriend and he lives in California, which is one hell of a long way from England. Working with Martin to develop a game is supposed to be purely business; a way for Ryan to earn the money to leave his abusive boyfriend. Except, he finds himself falling for the enigmatic Englishman. Wondering what kind of spark there might be if they were in the same country is one thing, escaping his boyfriend is another. Wounded by their past relationships, Martin and Ryan have to learn to trust each other in order to have a chance at building a future together. **These stories contain mature language and scenes, including descriptions of sex, depression and domestic abuse**

Buy Links – Available on Kindle Unlimited

Why I Left You

Why I Need You

Why I Trust You

Why I… Omnibus

Excerpts Why I Left You “You’d get drunk faster on spirits,” Brett said, wandering up to him. Jamie glowered at him and then fixed his gaze on the dance floor. “Thanks for the tip, but I’m good.” He sipped more slowly at the new pint. Brett didn’t move. “I didn’t think you were into guys anymore.” The question sounded casual, but his body was full of tension as he leaned against the wall beside Jamie. “What the fuck would you know about it?” Jamie tipped his head back against the wall, closed his eyes and breathed in and out. Just Breathe. “Sorry. I don’t want to fight with you, not tonight.” He pushed his hair back and took a good-sized gulp of his beer. “I just want to hang out and relax. If you’re not gonna help me do that, would you please get lost?” Brett’s eyes widened. “Help you? How would I be able to help you?” Jamie shook his head. “Forget it.” Except he couldn’t get the thought of kissing Brett out of his head, which was totally fucked up. He decided it was the drink talking, stirring up long-forgotten feelings. He glanced at Brett and knew instantly he shouldn’t have done. Brett’s blue eyes seemed more intense under the ultraviolet lighting, almost supernaturally so. They bored into him, trying to understand what he’d just said. And damn if that gaze didn’t make his legs weak and his stomach flip over, the way it always had done when they were younger. He knocked back the rest of his beer and then put the plastic cup down on the floor beside his feet. He straightened up too fast and swayed. Brett reached out and grabbed him by the shoulders to steady him. “On second thoughts, I guess you’re already well on the way to being plastered,” Brett said. Before he had time to regret even thinking about it, Jamie did something stupid. He stepped in to Brett and kissed him. Why I Need You “I’m staying at a friend’s house for now,” Noah said, trying to inject lightness into his voice. “Martin. He’s cool. You should meet him sometime.” “Just a friend?” Fin asked, his eyes narrowing ever so slightly. Was that curiosity playing across his face? “Yes,” Noah said. “We went there once, in high school, but we’re really not into each other. What about you? Have you got a boyfriend?” It was a stupid question, really. They wouldn’t be out together if either of them was involved with someone else. “No.” “Really?” Noah acted surprised. “I can’t believe someone as cute as you is available.” Fin let out a short laugh. “I’d have thought you’d have been snapped up quickly, too.” Noah ran his finger around the rim of his pint glass. “I’ve been keeping a low profile. I had to keep up appearances for my parents and all that. Now, I’m free. What’s your excuse?” He was sure he saw panic flit through Fin’s eyes. They certainly darkened for a couple of seconds, his irises becoming almost indistinguishable from his pupils. “I’ve been too busy, I guess. Too much work and study.” “You know what they say,” Noah said. “All work and no play makes Fin a dull boy.” “I’m dull, am I?” “Not from what I’ve seen. Yet. But you’re in danger of it,” Noah said in a knowing tone. “You should definitely get out more.” “Oh, yeah?” Fin asked, his voice lower than it had been moments before. He leaned towards Noah, resting both elbows on the table. “And who would I do that with?” Noah leaned towards him as though there were some sort of invisible tug coming from Fin. He could tell by the way Fin’s eyelids were a little heavy and the lazy curve of his lips that he’d welcome a kiss in that moment. Noah found he wanted to. He wanted to feel the texture of Fin’s lips against his own, wanted to taste him. His hands became clammy. It felt like the few people in the bar were all staring at them. It didn’t matter whether it was true or not; he could already feel the blood pounding in his head. His stomach lurched at the thought of prying eyes watching what should have been an intimate moment. So, instead of doing what he knew they both wanted, he leaned back. “I’m sure you can find someone,” he said in what was supposed to have come out as a cocky, laid-back tone but actually sounded really dumb. Why I Trust You As Martin spoke, Ryan drew as quickly as he could. He wasn’t aiming for anything of beauty, just the gist contained in a series of incredibly rough sketches. It was impossible not to get caught up in Martin’s vision. The childlike excitement in Martin’s voice encouraged Ryan to smile as he drew, visually realising the story that was beginning to unfold in Martin’s rambling and often chaotically organised sentences. “And that’s it,” Martin said. “I talked too fast, didn’t I? You should have stopped me.” The truth was, Ryan had loved listening to Martin’s deep, smooth voice. He’d loved being able to switch off from everything else to focus on nothing but Martin’s words and the sketchpad and pencil. He used his phone to snap a few photos of his rough sketches and emailed them straight to Martin. “I sent you a present,” he said. “And, no, you didn’t talk too fast.” “Got it,” Martin said. “Holy shit. You drew these while I was talking?” “Yeah, they’re kind of rough.” They were more impressions than clear drawings. Bold lines used to create the suggestion of vast detail. But despite that, Ryan was confident that the content of each sketch was clear. “I’ll obviously need to translate all these ideas into digital format and pick a style that’ll work across platforms without pixelating on larger devices or looking too visually cluttered on smaller screens. I’ll work on some solid graphics ideas over the next few days.” “These are amazing,” Martin breathed. “I just… wow.” Ryan felt a warmth surge through his chest. It felt so good to be really, truly appreciated by someone. The fact that it was a guy he’d never met and who lived several thousand miles away only made it hit home how truly miserable he’d become. But that awareness didn’t stop the guilt from seeping into every fibre of his being. He was sneaking around behind Zane’s back, talking to another guy. A guy whose voice he liked. A guy who made him feel appreciated. If Zane found out, he’d flip out and accuse Ryan of cheating. He gripped his pencil tightly, to the point of almost snapping it in half. “I’d better go,” he said, his voice suddenly weary. “I’ve got work in a few hours, so I’d better get some sleep.” Not that he was convinced he would be able to sleep, as his thoughts were so mixed up about the way Martin made him feel. “Yeah. Sorry I kept you up.” “No problem. It’s been fun.” It really had been. That was the thought Ryan wanted to take away with him, rather than the guilt, but he knew the guilt would win.

About the Author

Colette’s personal love story began at university, where she met her future husband. An evening of flirting eventually led to a fairytale wedding. She lives in the north of England with her husband, two beautiful children, a crazy dog and a lazy cat.

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Blog Tour: “The Werewolf on Lowre Few Lane” by Bryce Bentley-Tales

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Book Title: The Werewolf on Lowre Few Lane

Author: Bryce Bentley-Tales

Publisher: NineStar Press

Cover Artist: Natasha Snow

Genre/s: YA Dark Fantasy LGBT

Length: 49,000 words/270 pages

It is a standalone book.

Release Date: October 29, 2018

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NineStar Press

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Amazon UK

Blurb

A haunted house. A portal that lies inside. Four friends must enter both to save their world.

Thirteen year-old Colton has a crush on the new foreign exchange student, Dylan, but soon discovers his new American friend is not your average kid – he’s a werewolf. Their friendship has no time to blossom when Colton and his two close friends accompany Dylan to a haunted house, where they must search inside for a portal that will take them to another world where Dylan’s aunt is captive.

Excerpt

A loud clanging echoed across the yard, and we both cowered behind the stone fence post. Adjacent to the old post, a crumbling stone wall shielded us from anyone standing by the house. When I poked my head around the ledge, nothing but the motionless tall weeds could be seen in the yard and the same gloomy look the house had had before. It was dead quiet. Jade put her hands on my shoulders, her mouth next to my ear. “S-see, I told you. You believe me now? It’s haunted.” I tried to speak, but my mouth was dry. I brought my binoculars up, gripping them hard with both hands. “Probably just varmint inside,” I said.

“Aye. And maybe you and your butterfingers could be captain of the rugby team.”

“Har-har. You think the Kennedy twins really disappeared inside?”

“I told you. I saw them at the house when I was with Erin two nights ago. They said they were going inside.”
“Maybe they’re hanging out at the local pub downtown?”
“Colton, no one has seen those fellas since that night. They went inside and never came out, sure of it.”
I swiveled the binoculars around, peering at the large, arched front doorway, which had a wolf face door knocker. Jade whispered close to my ear, “You see anything?”
“Shhh, I can’t focus with your tongue in my ear.”
“My tongue isn’t in your ear,” Jade said, her voice irritated. After a few seconds, she pushed on my shoulder. “By the way, you find out the new foreign-exchange fella’s story? You didn’t take your eyes off him in class. I missed a lot while I was away.” She giggled. “You fancy him, don’t you?”
I cringed, lowered the binoculars, and spoke in a hushed voice over my shoulder. “Don’t say that out loud.”
“And who’s going to blimey hear us? Just us and the ghouls at 44 Lowre Few Lane.”

Lunchtime came, and I headed to the cafeteria. I scanned the room, searching for Dylan. My heart beat fast. I didn’t see him. Nor did I see anyone I wanted to sit with, or someone, for that matter, who would want me to sit next to them. Ms. Griffin was standing close to several teachers, and I picked up bits and pieces of the gossip. You could count on Ms. Griffin for gathering the latest scandal regarding students, teachers, and anything else, and sometimes she would let things slip to students. Especially if she liked them. She was talking about Brian and the fact that he and his brother had been at that house. I assumed she meant 44 Lower Few Lane. Boys’ laughter reached my ears and I turned. On the far side of the room sat a row of rugby players. My heart plummeted to depths of glumness. Dylan was sitting with them, his back to me. Several of the boys were laughing at whatever story Dylan was telling them. I got my lunch, my head hung down, and I clomped down the hall to go outside. A few boys were forming up teams for rugby and asking for players.A round-faced boy pointed toward me and asked, “What about him?”

I froze in place. A skinny, spindly-legged boy cawed in laughter and slapped the oval-face lad on the back. “Don’t be a muppet. He’s only good at running numbers in his head.”

The two boys faced away from me and continued their search for players.

Always singled out as the smart kid. The brainy one. Tears threatened to sell, but I kept control and headed to my favorite oak tree. I had no chance of winning over Dylan.

About the Author

Bryce was raised by his mother and father in the countryside near Wichita, Kansas and learned to become an avid reader from his mother and maternal grandfather who carries the last name of Bentley. Stephen King novels still stack his two shelves in his old bedroom at home. After graduating from his high school with a class size of 69, he completed college where he had never came out gay, then took a winding journey over his entire 20s. This took him to Indiana, then to the San Francisco Bay Area where he still did not come out but obtained a master’s degree. He traveled to Bangkok, Thailand during his late 20s to teach English for a year and he met his first boyfriend. Five years later, he completed his doctorate degree in psychology, which was inspired by a youth and young adulthood of feeling internally bewildered. Bryce started dabbling in writing in 2011 or in his mid-thirties. He self-published several works under his name over the last few years, but it was in 2016 he felt like he was finally getting the hang of this writing thing. The Werewolf on Lowre Few Lane is his first work under his pen name of Bryce Bentley-Tales. His next YA novel with a working title of Orion: The PreRobo Era Boy, is a work he is finishing up currently. Bryce currently lives in Dallas, Texas.

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