Genre: Japanese Fiction

#SaturdaysAreBookish | feat. @SatBookChat’s 12th January guest author Estella Mirai | Book Review of “The Stars May Rise and Fall” (a re-telling of “Phantom of the Opera” from an m/m romantic POV)

Posted Saturday, 12 January, 2019 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

#SaturdaysAreBookish created by Jorie in Canva.

After launching this lovely new feature of mine during [Autumn, 2018] it is a pleasure of joy to continue to bring #SaturdaysAreBookish as a compliment focus of my Twitter chat @SatBookChat. If you see the chat icon at the top of my blog (header bar) you can click over to visit with us. The complimentary showcases on my blog will reflect the diversity of stories, authors and publishers I would be featuring on the chat itself. As at the root and heart of the chat are the stories I am reading which compliment the conversations.

#SaturdaysAreBookish throughout [2019] will be featuring the Romance & Women’s Fiction authors I am discovering to read across genre and point of interest. Every Saturday will feature a different author who writes either Romance or Women’s Fiction – the stories I am reading might simply inspire the topics in the forthcoming chats or they might be directly connected to the current guest author.

I am excited about where new guests and new stories will lay down the foundation of inspiring the topics, the conversations and the bookish recommendations towards promoting Romance & Women’s Fiction. Here’s a lovely New Year full of new authors and their stories to celebrate!

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Acquired Book By: I’ve been blessed by meeting authors via #bookishTwitter for five years now. I love the #writingcommunity in the twitterverse as the writers who are publishing and/or of whom like me are still on their publishing journey are approachable, relatable and keenly conversational which is wicked brill. When my path crossed with this lovely author what truly humbled my heart and gave me such a lift of joy is the fact she was able to send me an ARC of her novel in printed form. She understood why I couldn’t read an ecopy of the novel and I am the proud owner of a spiral bound ARC!

I received a complimentary spiral bound ARC copy of “The Stars May Rise and Fall” direct from the author Estella Mirai in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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Why I was keenly excited about reading this re-telling of ‘Phantom of the Opera’:

You might remember, last year I read “The Phantom’s Apprentice” by Heather Webb which was her self-published re-telling of the same story. She was also who chose to self-publish her novel in lieu of seeking (or being able to seek) traditional publication for her story. It is rather unique I think, a year later I am celebrating the discovery of a second novel based on this Classical story which had to take an Indie route to reach reader’s hands!

I’ve truly have had a love affair with the music of ‘Phantom’ ever since I was a young girl – I grew up with an appreciation of the arts at a very young age. My parents encouraged me to seek out theatre, symphonies and listen to orchestrations via vinyl records at home. I also was actively engaged with programming on PBS as much as I loved the local arts community in my metropolis – not just limited to musical routes of enjoyment but also fine art and other exhibits or old world arts & crafts fairs/festivals. In essence, I was surrounded by the arts across mediums of influence whilst I was musically introduced to such a hearty variety of sounds & soundscapes, it turnt me into a lifelong appreciator of musical compositions.

I loved Classical compositions as much as Contemporary – however, I had a special place in my heart for sound for motion picture and the Broadway Musical scores and soundtracks. There was something rather intimate about Original Cast Recordings when it comes to a Musical – you can feel the intensity of the performance and you can paint the scenes alive in your mind as soon as you hear the music begin. Which is what I was trying to capture last year when I mentioned this ahead of sharing my review of “The Phantom’s Apprentice”:

The music of Phantom – irregardless of which incantation of performance and artistic vision are the songs which lift my soul. The sound of Phantom is individually distinctive and the story within it’s heart is one of gutting emotions surrounding the suspense of what is truly happening to Christine and of what motivates the Phantom himself to pursue her to such an extent of invested interest. It is also part cautionary tale about obsession and misguided love.

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I also went on to mention how long I’ve been connected to ‘Phantom’:

I’ve been a girl whose appreciated Broadway and Musicals since I was old enough to listen to original soundtracks on cassette tape. I used to go to sleep with a tape of Annie – not the stage play version but the original motion picture soundtrack. From there, I graduated into more familiar Musicals – including listening to the Michael Crawford soundtrack for Phantom until it etched itself into my blood.

I continued to follow Phantom – from watching the PBS broadcast of the anniversary production from London to celebrating the motion picture adaptation starring Emmy Rossum. Whilst I was writing my ruminative thoughts on behalf of this novel, I was playing the motion picture soundtrack channel for Phantom via Pandora Radio which showcased all versions of the play and musical.

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In effect, this is a story which is simply a ‘part of me’ and it was an honour to have the chance to see this story & its characters re-imagined into an m/m romantic arc set in Tokyo, Japan. For those who read and visit my blog regularly, you already know of my admiration on behalf of Susan Spann’s Hiro Hattori novels – though set in 16th Century Japan, the point here is the fact I love visiting the country in fiction. In the past, I had several friends who lived in different parts of Japan inasmuch of the fact one of my favourite Winter Olympics were the Nagano Games. My grandparents helped encourage my fascination & love of Japan as they themselves loves the country, through their art (sculpture) and musicians especially.

In essence, it feels like ‘coming home’ whenever I consider reading a story set in Japan – it is a beautifully lovely country full of Mystic roots, humbling traditions and a wonderful cultural heritage.

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#SaturdaysAreBookish | feat. @SatBookChat’s 12th January guest author Estella Mirai | Book Review of “The Stars May Rise and Fall” (a re-telling of “Phantom of the Opera” from an m/m romantic POV)The Stars May Rise and Fall
by Estella Mirai
Source: Direct from Author

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.

Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781684547715

Genres: After Canons, Contemporary (Modern) Fiction (post 1945), Japanese Fiction, LGBTQIA Fiction, Re-telling &/or Sequel, Romance Fiction


Setting: Toyko, Japan


Published by Self Published Author

on 11th December, 2018

Format: Spiral Bound ARC

Pages: 309

Self Published Author

This is a Digital First Release – other formats will be forthcoming such as print

Converse via: #PhantomOfTheOpera retell, #LGBTQ, #Contemporary Romance

About Estella Mirai

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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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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Posted Saturday, 12 January, 2019 by jorielov in 21st Century, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Compassion & Acceptance of Differences, Composer, Creative Arts, Debut Author, Debut Novel, Equality In Literature, Grief & Anguish of Guilt, Horror-Lite, Inspired By Author OR Book, Inspired by Stories, Japan, LGBTTQPlus Fiction | Non-Fiction, Mental Health, Modern Day, PTSD, Re-Told Tales, Realistic Fiction, Romance Fiction

#SpooktasticReads | a mini-event of #WyrdAndWonder named after an event Jorie conceived in [2017] but wished to expound upon her idea to reach a wider audience who could re-interpret the event for themselves with a #wyrdandwonder twist!

Posted Monday, 22 October, 2018 by jorielov , 2 Comments

#SpooktasticReads banner created by Imyril (@imyril) Photo Credit: Unsplash Photographer Mark Tegethoff. (Creative Commons Zero) Used with permission.

Last Autumn, you might remember I conceived of this idea to re-start my readings into the spooktacular worlds of chilling Thrillers, Suspense, Mysteries and the Paranormal (with just a dash of love for Cosy Horror!) – wherein I conceived of spending a fortnight reading such lovelies and enjoying a personal readathon leading into Halloween! I fell a bit short of my goals last year, though I took it as a success – as not only did I read some rather spookified tales which I’ll be re-promoting these last days of October but I found myself wholly intrigued by the stories I was selecting to read!

This year, I helped name our first mini-event for #WyrdAndWonder – wherein I was hoping to let this small idea I had last year take flight, reach a bigger audience and find readers who might find their own definition of #SpooktasticReads befitting their own readerly life! I was originally going to only slate myself to read two Dark Fantasy selections for our event this October, but then, I re-read over my post from last year and realised all the chilling stories I was reading for different events in the book blogosphere this year aptly cross-apply to the essence of what we’re reading for #SpooktasticReads as a Fantasy loving reading group! Some of the stories of course play the theme up quite a bit for the spookier side of the genres, some of which may or may not directly (or indirectly) relate to Fantasy per se but this is one of those readathons which is open to both interpretation and the joy of having free reign to enjoy the readathon in a way each reader wants to approach it!

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A Spooktastic reading binge for Psychological Suspense & Gothic Tales!

Autumn for me is a time in the year where I simply like to read a curated collection of stories which fall under different categories of mutual interest: Mystery, Suspense, Thriller, Gothic or Paranormally inclined and Cosy Horror.

This year [2018] as I co-host my own mini-event celebrating the 13 days leading into Halloween with #SpooktasticReads, I am also happily reading a Cosy Mystery about a witch for my first ever #CozyMysteryBookClub selection via audiobook whilst finding the joy of participating in both #SCAREtober and #HorrorOctober as those reading (and blogging!) challenges compliment my readings for #SpooktasticReads whilst the few stories I have slated for #Victober also work well with the context of what I’m focusing on this year! I decided to ‘let go’ of the idea of reading individual stories for each theme of challenge and get into the randomness of finding the stories which not just cross-relate but I can talk to the readers of all the challenges who are seeking the same stories I am!

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If other book bloggers or readers want to join us, please link to your blog, Twitter, Riffle List, LibraryThing List or other ‘space’ online where you are updating about what your reading – such as Instagram or Vlog (YouTube) in the Comments section below!

Use the tag: #SpooktasticReads & link back to this post – as I will happily be sharing what your doing for this lovely #WyrdAndWonder mini-event! Plus, I love hearing what others are reading in case something they discover would be a good fit for me as well!

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Posted Monday, 22 October, 2018 by jorielov in Bookish Discussions, Cosy Historical Mystery, Crime Fiction, Ghosts & the Supernatural, Gothic Literature, Historical Fiction, Historical Thriller Suspense, Parapsychological Gifts, Supernatural Fiction, Suspense

#TopTenTuesday No.6 | Top Ten Books I’m Looking Forward to In 2018

Posted Tuesday, 16 January, 2018 by jorielov , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , 0 Comments

Top Ten Tuesday blog banner created by Jorie in Canva.

[Official Blurb] Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature / weekly meme created by The Broke & the Bookish. The meme was created because we are particularly fond of lists here at The Broke & the Bookish. We’d love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your Top 10 Lists! In January, 2018 this meme is now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.

[Topic #370 originally shared on 26th December, 2017] *elected to rewind, rather than stay OT

I shared this post for today’s topic linky – as I wasn’t sure if the original blogger who hosted this was going to archive their blog now that they have stepped down from blogging. (see List)

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Today’s entry was inspiring to me for the following reasons:

I’ve wanted to sort out which stories I want to read per each new year for *decades!* However, despite all the bookish feeds I read, consume and try to digest per annum, I am the girl who is constantly and consistently *surprise!* by which stories are published per year! Try as I might, I either get wholly consumed by #currentreads to notice #newreleases and/or I’m distracted by life itself – as all of us live full lives outside our reading queues!

This year, however, I was a bit ahead of the curve! I knew about several releases I was wicked itching to read! What fun, eh!? I also found a few new ones before January – somehow, the one thread of literature I source every year the easiest are the stories within the realms of *Historical Fiction* as let’s be honest – Jorie loves travelling through the historic past! (smiles) If there were a story out there set during a timeline of History I haven’t yet visited, there is a strong variable of interest for me to dig inside it and take the journey!

The two veins of interest I am most under-read are Science Fiction & Fantasy as well as INSPY Fiction (see my 70 Authors Challenge, which resumes this 2018!). Slowly but surely I shall re-inspire myself to bring these stories back into my life with the same gusto I have for #HistFic! It’s just when it comes to the past, of stories which are set elsewhere in time – I’m as giddy a girl watching a hot air balloon ascend into the heavens to see what the world looks like from above! #HistoricalFiction allows us to re-align our world-view, of re-examining History and of setting ourselves into the footsteps of characters who re-theorise the lives of those who lived prior to us. This is why it’s addictive to consume and why my heart flutters it’s joy every year I find myself happily alighted ‘somewhere’ in the timelines of History!

In regards to #MGLit (Middle Grade) and #YALit (Young Adult) – truthfully, I get so distracted throughout the year, I forget to *read them!* as they come into the library! I quite literally always put these novels on ‘hold’ to be in queue or I am one of the ones happily queuing them into a purchase request status – either way you slice it, when it comes to Children’s Lit, I’m falling dearly behind on my mission to #readDEEPER into these realms!

Ergo, this List is mostly aligned for releases within the first months of the year – with some extensions into Summer; though, I haven’t taken a critical eye to notice ALL the stories which will publish this year,… generally speaking, this is one reason I made my presence on Twitter my sole haunt online outside of my blog. I love being caught up in the netherspheres of conversations wherein the bookish and readerly spirits alight – everyone is happily chattering about ‘this or that and why this has to be seen to be believed or why this one touched their bookish soul in such a wicked sweet way, etc, etc’. To be in the timeline of #readers and #bookbloggers whilst interacting with #writers who are #amwriting our #nextreads whilst celebrating their #currentlypublished tomes of joy – this is where I like to spend my hours whilst I’m not #amreading my own #currentreads or #amblogging my readerly life here on Jorie Loves A Story!

In other words,… you’ll see me gush like the chattastically joyful tweeter I am throughout the year when I spy a #mustread I simply MUST find a copy of in which to disappear! Generally this means I will be sourcing through my local #Library though on occasion, I do purchase hardbacks and paperbacks which are a few years out of Pub (on discount) or I find backlist lovelies at local bookshelves (think: Little Free Libraries movement) or I am gifted a book from my Mum and Dad which grants me invaluable joy for their knowledge of how bookishly inclined I am!

I do wonder – how do you approach a NEW YEAR of STORIES?

I love to JUMP and DIVE into a New Year — with some stories in my mind to seek out, leaving the vast majority to be the unexpectedly blissful journey which unfolds before me,..

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Posted Tuesday, 16 January, 2018 by jorielov in Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blogosphere Events & Happenings, Bookish Memes, JLAS Update Post, Jorie Loves A Story, Jorie Loves A Story Features, Top Ten Tuesday

#JorieReads | Spooktastic Fortnight of Psychological #Suspense & #Gothic Tales Personal Reading Challenge!

Posted Wednesday, 18 October, 2017 by jorielov 0 Comments

Spooktastic Fortnight banner created by Jorie in Canva.

Spooktastic Fortnight of Psychological Suspense & Gothic Tales!

Autumn for me is a time in the year where I simply like to read a curated collection of stories which fall under different categories of mutual interest: Mystery, Suspense, Thriller, Gothic or Paranormally inclined and Cosy Horror. This year, as I was looking over the lists for *reading challenges* I noticed 2017 fell a bit short in offering a chance to interact with other readers who appreciate the same type of stories! Therefore, as I had already put my plan into action to read the selected stories during the final fortnight of October, I decided to host my ‘own’ self-direct reading challenge this year!

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If other book bloggers or readers want to join me, please link to your blog, Twitter, Riffle List, LibraryThing List or other ‘space’ online where you are updating about what your reading – such as Instagram or Vlog (YouTube) in the Comments section below!

Use the tag: #SpooktasticReads & link back to this post

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • Spooktastic Fortnight of Psychological Suspense & Gothic Tales 2017
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Posted Wednesday, 18 October, 2017 by jorielov in Bookish Discussions, Cosy Historical Mystery, Crime Fiction, Ghosts & the Supernatural, Gothic Literature, Historical Fiction, Historical Thriller Suspense, Parapsychological Gifts, Supernatural Fiction, Suspense