Release Blitz: Cinderellis by Evie Drae
(Once Upon a Vegas Night #2)
by Evie Drae
Release Date: February 25, 2021
As the son of music industry royalty and a famous rock star in his own right, Henry “Cinder” Cinderford has spent his life on the road. Craving stability, he signs on to do a special limited engagement in Las Vegas and plans to spend the next six months discovering the meaning of home.
After losing his mom at a young age, Ellis Tremaine survived a childhood with an abusive stepfather who took out his anger on the son he never wanted. Nearly two decades later, Ellis continues to struggle against the emotional manipulations of his family, even in his career. But when he meets none other than the Prince of Pop himself, things start to change.
From attraction to friendship to something so much more, Ellis and Cinder become the celebrity ‘ship known as “Cinderellis.” But when reality threatens their storybook romance, all they can do is hope there really is a happily ever after for every once upon a time.
- Homophobia; and
- A main character is a survivor of childhood physical and emotional abuse.
Read my 4.5-starred review of Cinderellis.
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An Excerpt from Cinderellis
Ellis leaned his elbows on the handrail of the narrow metal catwalk overlooking the frontstage area and closed his eyes, allowing the music below to encompass him from all sides. Surrounding his senses. Filling his soul.
About three-quarters of the way through Cinder’s set, there was a song that dripped with passion and heart, making exquisite use of his stunning vibrato. It had become a favorite of Ellis’s almost from the get-go, most especially because its simplicity allowed him a moment to breathe, to open himself, and to fall heart-first into the music.
The constantly moving parts of the high-concept production ground to a halt during those three minutes and forty-two seconds. The fly space he occupied went still and quiet as a single bloodred spotlight focused on center stage, highlighting a lone wooden stool and a microphone stand. Following his third wardrobe change of the night, clad in skintight black jeans and a white ribbed tank, Cinder stepped onto the stage clutching the neck of an acoustic guitar. As if on cue, the audience swooned into the orchestrated mood change.
They all knew what came next, and with a soft, collective gasp, the whole theater held its breath. Then, like the beat of a heart, as Cinder rested a hip on the stool, adjusted the strap of his guitar, and drew the microphone close, the crowd exhaled as one.
With the first note of the now familiar song, Ellis’s chest tightened. Music had always held an important place in his life, affecting him in ways he couldn’t explain. But nothing in his twenty-six years on this earth had ever latched on to his very being the way Cinder could with his haunting tenor as it trembled up an octave before plunging in both register and depth. Straight into his heart.
He looked forward to this brief respite more and more each day, surprised to find himself curious about the man who made such soul-moving compositions. Ellis rarely cared about anything other than the music itself, but something about Cinder’s music was different. Something about Cinder was different; Ellis just couldn’t put his finger on what.
Growing up in Vegas with a stepfather in show business, Ellis had never been impressed by celebrity. He admired the effort that went into reaching and maintaining stardom, but he could say the same thing about a lot of jobs out there. If someone put in a full day of hard work, they earned his respect, no matter what the end goal or result.
But Ellis’s curiosity over Cinder wasn’t based on the novelty of his fame or even over the man himself. It was the music Ellis yearned to delve deeper into. It affected him in ways he didn’t understand, but he wanted to. It was like Cinder saw into a part of Ellis even he had never known was there, and he needed to know why… and how?
He wanted to put a face to the voice if only to prove Cinder was real. To prove the responses he drew from Ellis weren’t figments of his imagination. To prove he was still capable of emotions that ran so deep they could penetrate the walls he’d built around his fractured heart after his mom’s death.
To prove he could still feel.
About Evie Drae
Evie Drae (Ze/Hir/Hirs) has won first place in seven Romance Writers of America® competitions and was a double finalist in the 2019 Golden Heart®. Ze loves encouraging hir fellow writers and started the #writeLGBTQ and #promoLGBTQ hashtags on Twitter to support LGBTQ+ authors and allies. Ze is married to the love of hir life, is the parent of two fur babies, and runs almost entirely on coffee and good vibes.
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