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Touches by Alina Popescu ~ Blog Tour

 

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Touches is a collection of four contemporary gay romance short stories following the same cast of characters.

They can be read in any order, but to better immerse yourself in the characters’ lives, reading them in order is advised.

 

Sometimes a single touch is enough to change everything. Physical or emotional, a touch can tilt the world on its axis and shift your entire life. It can lead to hell, or it can lead to paradise, but things will never be the same…

A TOUCH OF GLAMOUR
Tudor has big plans for New York City.
Ditch his homophobic colleague. See a musical. Definitely check out the go-go boys.
Meeting one Phantom on Grindr wasn’t in the script.
Tudor gets caught up in a whirlwind when his favorite musical character steps off the stage and into his life.

A TOUCH OF PARADISE
Hauled to work in Hawaii, Tudor has little time to enjoy the island paradise.
His obnoxious friend Radu has it much easier, using his free time to set Tudor up, dangling a willing Hawaiian beauty in front of him.
Having been burned by long-distance relationships before, Tudor stubbornly resists Kahoni’s advances.
But can Tudor be worn down enough to enjoy a touch of paradise?

A TOUCH OF KINK
A moody and angry Tudor follows his friend, Radu, to the airport to pick up a client.
Despite Radu’s efforts, he’s still sulking over his boyfriend, Kahoni, not being able to fly over for his birthday.
But the airport only opens up the door to a stream of steamy surprises for Tudor. Will his mood improve?

A TOUCH OF GAY
Radu has always joked with Tudor about his friend’s gay rubbing off on him. Neither of them has taken that joke seriously until Radu’s meltdown and crazy confession: Radu thinks he might be gay.
Despite Radu’s insistence that Tudor’s gayness has helped him figure out his own, there’s more to that story of discovery. Charismatic, sexy, and all around amazing Marius, the man Radu has been crushing on for months, pushed the loud-mouth, offensive Radu into exploring who he truly is.
Figuring out he wasn’t all that straight is the easy part. Getting enough courage to talk to Marius, that’s a whole different challenge, as Radu seems to turn into a stuttering idiot around Marius. Will Radu learn to be confident enough to pursue Marius? Or will Marius act faster and challenge the confused Radu too soon?

 

A Touch of Paradise

As he reached the pool, he noticed Radu wasn’t alone. Kahoni, wearing nothing but a pair of shorts, was sitting beside him, chatting happily. Oh, for fuck’s sake, Tudor thought, reminding himself to punch Radu in the face for this at some point in the future.

“Don’t you look all chewed up and spit out,” Radu said, mocking Tudor’s glare.

“Some of us have to work, you know. We can’t all relax by the pool on our business trips.”

Radu shrugged and relaxed into his chair. “Switch to sales. Business trips are always far more pleasurable for us, even when we work hard. Besides, Kahoni here worked all morning.”

Tudor arched an eyebrow and turned to face Kahoni. “I thought the bar was closed. And you also worked in the restaurant yesterday. Don’t you get time off?”

Kahoni grinned and winked, and didn’t that make Tudor weak in the knees. Okay, maybe that had been facilitated by the expanse of Kahoni’s perfect skin on display, but who was keeping track?

“It’s my side gig. I teach tourists to surf. Helps me save up for this surf shop I want to open in a year or two.”

Of course he had to surf! Kahoni had to be the perfect image of Hawaiian bliss, didn’t he? Tudor closed his eyes for a second, taking a deep breath and trying not to imagine water sluicing down Kahoni’s body as he came up for air.

“So surf by day and serve drinks by night, eh? Sounds tiring,” Radu said, almost looking like he needed a nap at the mere thought of such a workload.

“I manage. I can always skip the surfing lessons if I’m tired. Not like I have a boss riding my ass.”

 

 

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Alina Popescu

 

Writer, traveler, and coffee addict, Alina Popescu has been in love with books all her life. She started writing when she was ten and even won awards in local competitions. She has always been drawn to sci-fi, fantasy, and the supernatural realm, which explains her deep love for vampires and is also to blame for this trilogy.

 

 

Site & Blog: http://alina-popescu.com
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/authoralinapopescu
Twitter: http://twitter.com/alina_popescu
Instagram: http://instagram.com/alinapopescuwriter
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Google+:  https://www.google.com/+AlinaPopescu
Amazon:  http://amazon.com/author/alinapopescu

 

 

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Blog Tour and Review ~ Br0th3rly by Alina Popescu

 

Br0th3rly blog tour

Title: Br0th3rly
Author: Alina Popescu
Series: Famous on the Internet, Book One
Genre: Gay Romance, Contemporary, M/M Romance
Length: Novella
Publisher: Wayward Ink Publishing

Start your journey through the new techie/geeky gay romance series by Alina Popescu—Famous on the Internet—with the first book, Br0th3rly.

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Fighting his relentless love for Trevor, the guy he was raised to consider his brother, has been Tristan’s mission in life.

To distance himself from Trevor, even after discovering they weren’t really related, he left for college at sixteen. Moving into the city, building a new life, and running an anonymous blog about what he considers sick, twisted feelings might make Tristan famous on the Internet, but it isn’t enough to get over his obsession. Every time he goes home, a quick glance at Trevor brings it all flooding back.

When commitment-phobe Trevor announces he’s got a serious boyfriend during one of Tristan’s rare visits home, the adoring kid brother will be forced to run once again. This time, however, Trevor doesn’t stand back and watch him leave.

Instead, he follows him, making it nigh on impossible for Tristan to keep his love a secret for much longer.

Br0th3rly 3D Cover

 

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Growing up, I never really had a role model. Well, I had plenty, but none of them of my own. My dad and my big brother were my superheroes, and then when I discovered just how I loved my brother, I was even less inclined to pick my own model to follow. I didn’t know of anyone who’d made their dreams come true in my situation, so what would have been the point? No, instead I went after my brother’s role models or, later on, his random crushes.

First there was Marat Safin. My brother was obsessed with him. He’d never watched a tennis match in his life, but after running across his photo, he became an aficionado. What did I do? Well, I picked up tennis and was fairly good at it. I made it to a few competitions and might have continued to do well. But then my brother saw this Japanese movie made after a manga, where two men fall in love. They’d met in high school and one of them was on the track team. Yup, you guessed it, as his obsession with runners got hold of him, so did mine. Track replaced tennis and I did soon make the school’s track team. That ended up helping a lot with my college admission.

Then there was David Beckham. I think that one’s one of my brother’s favorites to this day. Then some rock star or another, then the actors. I lost track of all of them. I do remember Keanu, Brad, Stuart Townsend, the lead singer of Thirty Seconds to Mars, Adam Lambert, and a few others. I had vast collections of photos of all of them. I knew everything they did, watched their movies or went to their concerts. Anything to figure out what it was in them that made my brother like them so I could try to emulate it.

I never managed to be anything but myself. And even if I had, I was his little brother despite everything, so he never once looked my way with a shred of interest. Yet I kept trying to copy whoever caught his eye, even after having left home. Play toys, fuck buddies, celebrity crushes, I got myself acquainted with all of them. In a twisted way, I never gave up hope of my brother suddenly realizing he wanted me. Bad? Maybe. But it kept me alive, pushed me forward.

 

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4*

I particularly liked the originality of this story with the anonymous Br0th3rly blog posts and the letters from a publisher interspersed with the chapters, which gave a different perspective of the tale, making it unusual and adding some humour.

From the start, my heart went out to Tristan because he considered himself a ‘dirty little pervert’ for loving and lusting after his older brother since he was aged ten, and had continued to do so ever since. Even after he found out they weren’t blood related, he’d fought the urge to tell Trevor how he felt because they had grown up together and Tristan was ashamed. His attraction, the need to bottle up his feelings, and the frustration at seeing his brother with other guys were well demonstrated through his internal thoughts and actions. Tristan’s fear of being discovered and considered disgusting by Trevor and his parents were paramount in controlling his motives and actions.

It’s clear Trevor loves his brother and cares for him too. Despite Tristan behaving awkwardly at times, there’s a special bond and chemistry between these two guys from the start and when they finally get together and make out, it’s all good. I was a little perplexed at Tristan running away without saying goodbye and vowing to himself not to return to his family home ever again. But that all contributed to the angst. I love the longing and heartache in m/m romances.

I enjoy Alina’s writing style and the pace of this story. The story gripped me from the start and I kept reading, wanting to discover what happened. I loved the addition to the story via the blog posts and the emails from the publisher. I would have liked one or two more of them toward the end of the story. At the beginning, I even wondered if Trevor was writing the blog as an added twist. The story was wrapped up rather swiftly, with a happy for now ending, hinting at a HEA. I would have liked more scenes with Tristan and Trevor being together and seeing their relationship develop, but this is a novella, so I’m just being greedy.

As a fan of taboo stories and brotherly love, I was hoping that’s where the story was heading, but Alina stresses several times that these guys are not blood-related. Even so, as step brothers, I still enjoyed the format and the outcome of the story. I liked the hint at taboo even if it wasn’t as such. The story made a refreshing change.

 

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Br0th3rly Cover

 

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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.

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Review cross-posted on Gay Book Reviews.

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Craving Stains by Alina Popescu

Blog Tour and Guest Post – Craving Stains by Alina Popescu.

I’d like to welcome friend and fellow Wayward Ink Publishing author, Alina Popescu, as she stops by on her blog tour.

Where I find inspiration

To write stories, I need to be inspired. Otherwise, typing even a measly hundred words can turn into a dreadful chore. Luckily, finding inspiration is a lot more easier than finding all the time I need to write. Every little thing I run across can turn into a story idea, but some sources are more effective than others and I try to revisit them as often as I can. So I thought to share a few of my go-to sources, as knowing how to jolt your muse awake always comes in handy.

Folklore and myths

These are absolutely awesome when I try to write something that’s either fantasy or supernatural in nature. I don’t have a favorite source, it can be Greek mythology, or Egyptian, or Sumerian, or Christian (that was the case for the Lost Angels series). Folklore is also amazing at times, as some of the strangest stories are passed on through it.

My werewolf series Tales of the Werewolf Tribes—of which you’ll get the first sample in early July with Strength to Let Go—started out after I researched the myth of the Dacian great white wolf. That somehow turned into the Dacian Wolf alpha and now there are about four books planned in this series.

Gadgets and science shows

I love reading news about gadgets, seeing concept designs and finding out everything about tech advancements. Science shows, either those explaining things or those exploring theories, are another fun way of getting inspired for futuristic stories. I’d add medical or anatomy features here, as sometimes they can lead to quite interesting plots.

Books and movies

I read quite a bit and I watch a few movies each month. I should also add TV shows. I find them inspiring as I stumble across ideas or concepts or philosophical or moral dilemmas that I’d solve differently. Reading across genres and watching movies and shows of all kinds is probably why I don’t ever stick to one genre when I write, so there!

Manga, anime, and animations in general

Manga and anime are a great source of inspiration for me. Maybe because there are a lot of supernatural and scifi series out there. Maybe because they vary from incredibly sweet to very dark. But the worlds I’ve discovered in this genre are always impressive. I find comic books and animations in general great at depicting alternative worlds, fantasy or science fiction, in a way that not very many movies can, not without a lot of money thrown into it.

Music and visual arts

Lyrics or a melody will always be a great source of inspiration for me. Devil’s Trill had a lot to do with my Lost Angels series. Simply because it led me to thinking about the nature of temptation, about what constitutes a sin, and what defines pure feelings.

Sometimes a painting or a photo can inspire a character or an entire story. It happened with the photo of a forest where the trees all had yellow leaves. It created a whole new assassin type of character for a science fiction piece I was working on.

I hope this either helps you find your own inspiration or, at the very least, gives you a better sense of where my stories come from 🙂

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Title: Craving Stains

Author: Alina Popescu

Length: novella

Genre: gay, gay fiction, science fiction, paranormal, gay romance

Publisher: Wayward Ink Publishing

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Synopsis

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?

excerpt

I MUST have fallen asleep at some point, Wynn thought. He must have slid into this dream, surely, as that was the only explanation for the room he was currently in. A bed with dark silk sheets took up most of the room, flanked by two nightstands. A stained pizza box was thrown on one of them. On its path to the nightstand, the box had knocked down a can of soda, the liquid a messy stain on the carpet. Clothes were piled up all over the chair and desk next to the window. Wynn would guess there was a pretty old laptop under that messy pile of garments, but he couldn’t be sure.

The door was flung open and a dark shadow entered the room. As it approached Wynn, he could tell it was a man. Tall, dark, and generally huge. Wynn gripped the window pane he was leaning against. He lifted his gaze to the man’s face, and a sly grin greeted him. The man’s dark brown eyes swam with mischief, and his full lips parted to reveal a bright smile. He was breathtakingly gorgeous, and Wynn suddenly found it hard to breathe. He stalked closer and Wynn finally noticed what he was wearing: combat boots, black leather pants, and an old leather jacket over his bare upper body. Muscles bulged under his olive skin, and Wynn couldn’t suppress the urge to lick his lips, his nostrils flaring at the stranger’s spicy, masculine scent.

“And who might you be? All alone here in my room. That’s not a very safe place to be in, kid,” the man warned in a deep rumble.

Goose bumps quickly covered Wynn’s skin from his neck to his shoulders and down his arms. He blinked a few times, trying to remember his name and to get some words out. The man’s reached out to his face, cupping it. His thumb brushed Wynn’s cheek, and he swore he could have swooned at the touch. His very first touch from someone who was not a doctor or his mother.

“I… I… sorry, I don’t know how I got here,” he whispered. “I’m Wynn.”

“Doyle,” the man said firmly, right before his lips crushed Wynn’s in a bruising kiss.

Wynn gasped and clung to the stranger’s leather jacket, distracted by the surprisingly soft material. A warm tongue pushed past his lips and found his own, swirling around it. Wynn’s knees went weak, and he whimpered. He was falling, and embarrassment was his only emotion. Strong arms caught him. Doyle chuckled, and Wynn felt the tremors in his body.Well, at least I can amuse the man.

“Feeling okay, Wynn? You look like you’re about to faint like a teenage girl after her first kiss.”

Doyle’s teasing should have embarrassed him further, but the man’s voice made Wynn shiver, heat pooling in his groin, his stomach twisting painfully.

“Hey, stay with me,” Doyle demanded, shaking him a little. As Wynn was still having a little trouble breathing properly and holding himself up, the stranger helped him to the bed, pushing him down to sit on it.

“That couldn’t have been your first kiss,” Doyle said, arching an eyebrow and pushing back a little to give Wynn a once over. “I know it’s my birthday, but did they pick up a virgin for me?”

“Pick up a virgin?” Repeating Doyle’s words didn’t help him much, but Wynn still felt like saying it over and over again. What was the man talking about? “I am a virgin, but no one picked me up. Like I said, I don’t know how I got here.”

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Prizes:

1 x $20 WIP Giftcard and 3 x ebook copy of Craving Stains by Alina Popescu

ENTER THE RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY HERE

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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.

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