Monday, April 20, 2015

Craving Stains by Alina Popescu: #GuestPost #Giveaway

Craving Stains
by Alina Popescu

Genres: Gay (M/M), Science Fiction, Paranormal, Romance
Wynn Brenwood has been trapped by his mother since birth, shut away in a sterile, hospital-like apartment.

Is it her desire to keep him safe that sees him locked up in his pristine cage? Or are her motives less innocent and well-intentioned?

Wynn longs to break free to experience the world he sees beyond his window.

Desperate to escape, he meets Doyle, a handsome, leather-clad, and enigmatic stranger.

But is Doyle real, or is he just a figment of Wynn’s imagination?

How I Fell in Love with Gay Romance
Believe it or not, my first gay romance book was purchased a little under two years ago. I’d seen gay themed movie, I’d read boys’ love manga and watched anime in the genre, but somehow the existence of gay fiction managed to escape me. I’ve been reading since I was five, so you can imagine that’s quite a big segment of literature missing from my life. 

Once I decided to treat writing as a serious project, not just a hobby, I started meeting other readers and writers online. One day, a promo teaser for TM Smith’s Opposites found its way to my Facebook timeline. I liked the idea so much that I went straight to Amazon to buy it and then… well, I got hooked. I started reading more and more in this genre, while mixing it up with my usual reads. As I don’t stick to one genre, that meant an ever expanding to-be-read list. 

The writer in me was just as intrigued. I felt writing male characters would feel right, so I started off with a free short story featuring an angel and a demon. After that first experience, I just needed more. To be fair, part of what I write is better labeled as gay fiction rather than romance. Although there always are romance elements in what I write, other genres are just as strong, and I tend not to follow the rules of writing romance. Then again, I do that just as much when writing MF, so nothing new there!

At this point, two thirds of what I read and write is either gay romance or gay fiction. When there are women involved, I like it if they come in a nicely wrapped MMF trio. I still read the strictly male-female stuff, but it’s mostly paranormal, scifi, fantasy, mystery. I could never get into reading MF romance, the contemporary kind, as it happened with M/M. I still find great stories occasionally, but not as often as in this new genre I’ve only discovered less than two years ago. 

I love the authors, I love the books, and I love the community. Sure, it’s not all perfect, there are rivalries and not so stellar behaviors, just like everywhere else. There’s the ongoing debate about who should write gay romance (even more so gay fiction), but I tend to ignore all that. The truth is we’re part of a dedicated, loving community and the rest is just stuff we all deal with on a daily basis.

I wouldn’t change a thing about how it all happened. I think I’ve discovered gay romance at the right time. I had allotted myself plenty of time to read and write, and once I got my hands on that first book, I certainly needed a lot of hours to invest into it!

My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Craving Stains started out with an interesting premise, the relationship between Wynn and his mother is well written and emotional. When Wynn starts interacting with Doyle is where the story starts to break down. The mystery behind their contact is executed in a disjointed manor that is confusing. The scenes they share are passionate, but lack emotional chemistry. CRAVING STAINS ended up being a miss for me. I was left scratching my head and wishing that the initial potential been present throughout the entire story. Additional scenes with more communication between Wynn and Doyle would have greatly enhance this short story. I wanted to like this story more than I did due to the engaging beginning; it wasn't terrible, just forgettable.

Writer, traveler, and coffee addict, Alina Popescu has been in love with books all her life. She started writing when she was ten and she has always been drawn to sci-fi, fantasy, and the supernatural realm. Born and raised in Romania, she finds her inspiration in books of all genres, in movies, and the occasional manga comic book. She is a proud geek who needs her fast Internet and gadgets more than she needs air.

1 comment: