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Shake Hands with the Devil

The Sweet Dreams Series comes full circle with the third book in the series!

Aki Sato has seen success beyond her dreams in music, and with her partner and lover Kiya. It would seem all is in hand...until for Aki and Kiya, time stops.

Kiya has vanished, and Aki has as well, on a chase into the Amida, her closely-guarded ability to travel through time. Aki has been blocked from travel, as an enemy within has thrown Kiya into the past, in an effort to take Aki's power from her.

With allies unimaginable, Aki risks everything on one desperate gamble to save Kiya and keep the Amida save. Meanwhile, Kiya sails the Great Lakes in a time gone by and the worlds collide in "Shake Hands with the Devil."

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Call it Love

The Sweet Dreams Series Returns! Months have passed since Aki Sato discovered her time-traveling powers. Aki knows she cannot change the past nor can she solve her problems in the real world. Beset by fresh trauma, Aki's only hope comes from music and a voice that calls to her from her power of time travel.

When Aki agrees to help her brother Hiro start a new band, they are joined by two people that Aki can’t help but be attracted to: Kiya, a brilliant pianist and singer; and Zendo, a former monk and guitarist. Both bring their own musical skill and style, but Aki feels something from each that goes far beyond music.

Aki goes back in time to uncover a hidden past and to make an amazing discovery. Once more, she is reminded of the healing power of music, and people, in Call It Love.

“Very powerful, will elicit strong emotions and discussions among teens…able to tap into and accurately portray the feelings of teen girls—that is quite a coup!”

--Carolyn Kleinman, Author, “Love, Faith and the Dented Bullet”

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Searching for Roy Buchanan

 

The first in the Sweet Dreams Series, "Searching for Roy Buchanan" follows Aki, a Japanese teenager, who must learn to use her the ability to time travel. A strange meeting with an old American Blues musician propels Aki and her brothers back through time. Through the journey Aki learns of the "Amida," and all discover the true power of music.

"Searching..." is a tale for fans of Young Adult science fiction that has captivated fans of all ages. The sequel, "Call it Love" was released in 2021 (see above).

Searching for Roy Buchanan achieved a Finalist/First in Category nomination for the 2020 Dante Rossetti Award for Young Adult Fiction! This designation is part of the prestigious Chanticleer International Book Awards and Novel Competitions (CIBAs). It is my second such nomination.

Nominee, Best Characters, Red City Review Awards, 2020

"Gates is known for writing emotionally effusive fiction, but nothing to date has quite reached the heights of Searching for Roy Buchanan."

-- Red City Review ★★★★★

"Tory Gates has found his new calling, as a vivid fantasy story teller. I am awe of the mystical and musical experiences that touched these young lives. A story of tragedy and triumph. A compelling journey into art, music appreciation, Japanese language, wrapped in healing mystical time travel that brings acute self-awareness and an adventure that brings unexpected maturity in time when Aki and her brothers should still be children."

-- Theodocia McLean, Book Marketing Global Network ★★★★★ 

"Gates has a way of endearing his characters to you, so much so that you become invested in their lives, their dreams, and what might happen next. It is because of the depth in each that the overarching story becomes so compelling (and has me waiting excitedly for the sequel)."
-- Amazon Review ★★★★★

"...I found it comforting and moving to spend time with these kids thrust into adulthood early, yet still growing up. They have a solid fragility (that's the best way I can say it)...I also enjoyed the writing style. The language is very much in keeping with my sense of a Japanese aesthetic: straightforward, detailed, earnest precision. ...Finally, there is the way that the story points to soulful music. This book took me to new places in art, history, the world and myself. Truly transporting."

-- Amazon Review ★★★★★

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Live from the Cafe

 

“What did you dream today?”
 

Harlandsville, Quebec, doesn’t have a lot to offer, or so it seems. Old homes, an abandoned mill, a gas station, one Chinese takeout joint, and a former pub turned into a coffee shop.

 

Through the doors of Le Cafe, you find a world with homemade pastries and where coffee is brewed through a strange machine, and the music is a road map of Canada’s history.

 

Presided over by Luc, the son of one of Harlandsville’s most beloved residents, and his partner Emily, small-town life, love, change and prejudice are examined and experienced. The heartbeat of Harlandsville is right here, Live from the Cafe...

(Finalist, Young Adult Division, Red City Review Awards, 2018)

"Live From The Café is perhaps an idealistic look at small-town life. Well-written in a calm, unhurried style, Tory Gates manages to bring to life a haven surrounded by a troubled world, a rare place of community and genuine friendship which is treasured by all those who come into contact with it. The characters are engaging, solid and well-drawn, the descriptions are presented with vivid realism. I enjoyed the book and found the feeling of caring, friendship, and community that it conveyed heart-warming and uplifting." 

-- Charles Remington, Readers' Favorite ★★★★★

"The characters’ lives intertwine with each other beautifully, and the community within the café is warm, passionate, and fun to read about. Far from being quotidian, Live from the Café shows how even the most mundane workday can hide its own unexpected magic."

-- Red City Review ★★★★★

"This is a delightful fascinating read of a backwoods quaint little town and its cafe that sees a lot of unique action. As a musician, I was fascinated by the live music part where I swear I knew a few of them. The story slowly draws you into it and wraps itself around you around it with a cast of characters. Different stories weave in and converge and weave back out again. It's hard to describe but it really is quite an enjoyable read that I was kinda sad when it was over. So why not buy this book, make a cup of coffee, play some jazz, have a snack or a smoke, and sit back and enjoy this tale."

-- Sunbury Press Books Reviewer ★★★★★

"I really wish there was a Cafe where I was growing up just south of the fictional town of Harlandsville, Quebec! Imagine, somewhere I could go to be with cool people who GOT me, and hear some great live music, too. The author was spot on in his depiction of teenagers navigating sexual identity, substance abuse, dysfunctional families, and the core need we all have to belong somewhere. Every town needs a Cafe. One of my dreams is to open one!"

-- Amazon Review ★★★★★

"Masterfully brings to life a small town in the middle of nowhere, proving that even in the tiniest of towns, wondrous things can and do happen. We meet characters that are relatable and real, each one sure to cement a place in your heart. Along with Luc and Emily are a gathering of high school friends that learn, with the help of those around them, how to navigate life’s challenges, even when it seems impossible. Gates hits all the right notes with this book, so much so I found myself wistful for the actual existence of this cool little coffee shop. Pour yourself a cup of your favorite java and settle in for a simply marvelous visit to Le Café."

-- Amazon Review ★★★★★

A Moment in the Sun

 

Sixteen-year-old Rei appears to have everything: looks, brains, artistic skill and admiring friends. But Rei is a survivor—of loss, neglect and self-isolation. Locked away from a world where she felt unwanted, Rei was one of the lost millions known as the hikikomori.

 

A chance meeting leads Rei to discover the online world of the Dwellers, where she finds Sho, a former classmate, among them, No one is ever lost, Rei believes.

 

Learning she must come to terms with her past so she can face her future, Rei hopes to lead Sho, and her peers, through the barriers of class and society, to their Moment in the Sun so they can move forward too.

(Winner, Young Adult Division, Red City Review Awards, 2017)

(Nominee, Dante Rossetti Award for Young Adult Fiction, 2017)

"A well-written book that pulls the reader into the world of Rei and her friends as they discover the resilience hidden inside themselves."

-- Amazon Review ★★★★★

"Gates demonstrates a firm command and knowledge of a topic that most readers will find foreign, but his compelling characters and in-depth description of modern-day Japan helps ground the reader in a strong narrative. The characters are edgy, multifaceted, and devoid of stereotypical memes. Because Gates frames his descriptions of the isolated world of the hikikomori through the eyes of Rei, the mood does not slip into despair, but, rather, remains hopeful and retains the air of a survivor's tale."

-- Amazon Review ★★★★

Parasite Girls

Aidan Connor is a globetrotting American photojournalist. Burned out from a disastrous assignment, he turns up on the Tokyo doorstep of his old college friend, Mima. Even though she is a talented artist, Mima is struggling to make it on her own.

 

Her long trusted friends, Sora, who suffers from a mental illness, and Eko, with her dark past, are battling a peculiar form of social injustice: branded "Parasite Singles" as both live with their parents despite being in their early thirties.

As this journey remakes him, Aidan is reminded of what kept him close to Mima all these years.

 

"A well-written novel with strong and interesting characters that I really enjoyed getting to know. I appreciate the story treatment of a sensitive topic which I am all-to-familiar with, as it is not downplayed, dismissively made light of, or made into a character flaw. I feel this book can be enjoyed by teens and adults alike, and for any person who is interested in learning how difficult life can be to navigate if one suffers from depression or PTSD."

-- Amazon Review ★★★★★

"A great read about a tough subject in an interesting setting. Tory Gates introduced me to an unfamiliar world and yet I felt truly immersed in the culture and was filled with compassion for the complex characters he created and the challenges they faced. Pick this one up!"

-- Amazon Review ★★★★★