Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Blog Tour & Blogger Review: Campus Life by TC Orton

Title: Campus Life
Author: TC Orton
Series: CYOA #2
Genre: M/M Romance
Release Date: March 22, 2018
Summary:
A choose your own adventure for adults!
Young, dumb, and full of... You get the picture.

Welcome to Mentis University, your name is Joseph Smith and you've been unremarkable all your life. No - really, you've been absolutely, unequivocally, insert-smart-word-here mundane since the day the doctor slapped your ass and you let out a sigh. HOWEVER, you did manage to achieve one thing this year - you transferred to a better college. Bravo! (Mentis University has been rated number 2 on Top 10 worst colleges to attend for the last seven years... Guess where you were before this)

Since no one else from your hometown of - insert rural American town here - managed to claw their way out of mediocrity, you decided there was no point in hiding anymore. And thus, at an energetic twenty-one years old, you're now an openly gay man. Congratulations.

Of course, there's not much point in being openly gay if there are no gays to be in your opening. So, after spending a few days getting accustomed to your new life, you flopped onto your single bed, closed your eyes, and prayed to the lord... (And you're still waiting for the day Cher tweets you back)

"Please," you begged. "Guide me to a man who will treat me right... or pound me like a piece of veal."

Luckily for you, someone was listening...

Dear Reader
You will assume the role of Joe Smith (first-person, present tense) and guide him through his final year of college. Don't worry, you won't be expected to do anything as absurd as learn mathematics, but you will, on occasion, be provided with choices that will impact the outcome of the story.


I absolutely loved Choose Your Own Adventure books when I was a kid.  I won't lie, I can't tell you a single book title of the ones I read way back when but I can still remember the countless hours I spent "writing" my own story with those choices at the bottom of the pages.  Campus Life is only the second Choose Your Own Adventure story I've read as an adult, each from a different author and I loved them both so much that I look forward to finding more.  I'll admit unfortunately I was lacking in time to read TC Orton's first book in his CYOA series, Iudicium, but I will definitely be finding time in the future.

As for Campus Life, well there's not a whole lot I can say about the plot because the reader chooses the storylines' direction which means the plots change.  I will say that I didn't have the opportunity to read all the possible paths right now but where I went was absolutely wonderful.  Lots of heat, lots of humor, and simply put lots and lots of fun.  No matter what journey you put Joe on you will find yourself well and truly entertained.

Campus Life is my first TC Orton book and though its not your typical adult book, it was more than enough to intrigue me and I am already looking forward to checking out TC's backlist and keeping my eye out for future reads.  Even though there is no dragons, pirates, good guys vs bad guys in this book, I adored the level of nostalgia that surfaced every time I found a choice at the bottom of the page and for that alone this book is lovely so the story and characters being so well structured took Campus Life from "lovely" to "awesome".

RATING: 


Before I know it, I’m weaving my way through a swarm of cosplayers, getting handed leaflets for pop-up stores and being bombarded with free samples of anime-inspired cakes. Having so many people crammed into a single room makes the air humid, palpable. The scent of sizzling hotdogs infuses with the buttery popcorn and crepe stands. The body odor oozing from the heavily costumed teens causes me to recoil whenever we cut through a large group, and my shoes stick to the floor every other step like we’re treading through the filthiest of nightclubs.

Man, this place is packed wall-to-wall with sweaty basement dwellers (much like the person writing this book) and hot nerds alike. There’s queues at every booth and tables with D-list voice actors outlining the various manga and comic book stalls. There’s even a makeshift arcade setup with cabinets ranging from 80’s classics to modern VR titles.

So much to do, so much to see, and yet the one thing that draws in my gaze is the beaming grin on Kai’s face. He looks elated to be here, and I think a part of that has to do with me being here with him…At least, I hope so.

“How many of these have you been to?”I ask, loudly, trying to speak over the cheers and laughter that fill the room.

“This is my fifth!”he calls back, pulling me along by my wrist as he leads me to the comic stalls. “What do you think?”

“I think it’s…lively,” I reply, getting a whiff of unwashed armpit as I squeeze myself between two burly men.

Gag. People should only be allowed to smell like that mid-orgy.

We continue trudging our way through the crowd when suddenly, we’re swallowed by the shadows of the bookstacks and the thousands of comics they hold. Kai releases me mid-aisle and dashes toward a specific pile of pricy-looking omnibuses, and I linger behind him, appreciating his bulbous buns and thinking of all the things I’d like to do to him.

“Have you read Crisis on infinite earths?”he asks, flicking through the pages of said book.

“Erm…”

“What about The killing joke? Or Secret wars? Or Infinite crisis? Did you read the Alias comics before Jessica Jones went to Netflix? Oh –oh, have you read the original Civil War? They changed so much, but I get it. I don’t think they’d ever be able to do a proper adaptation even if they had all the rights to their characters back.”



Author Bio:
Born January 6th 1993, T. C. resides in the United Kingdom, living with his partner Peter Jones and their dog, Drake.

T. C. has had a passion for supernatural stories from a young age, often scribbling down his latest ideas instead of focusing on whatever task was at hand during the long school days. At the age of twelve, he penned his first romance story featuring himself and the boy he had feelings for set in a fantastical land full of werewolves and wizards. Ever since that day, T. C. has made it his mission to entwine his leading gay protagonists with epic paranormal adventures.


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Campus Life #2

Iudicium #1
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Release Blitz: Blood Bathory - Like the Night by Ari McKay

Title: Blood Bathory - Like the Night
Author: Ari McKay
Series: The Guardians of Gaia #1
Genre: M/M Romance, Paranormal
Release Date: April 9, 2018
Cover Design: Lou Harper @ Cover Affairs
Summary:
You can run…

After losing his younger sister to cancer, fashion photographer Evan St. John tries to outrun his pain, leaving New York for the excitement of Paris. His talent and striking good looks bring him to the attention of Elizabeth Nadasdy, the elegant and powerful owner of House of Nadasdy. Evan is thrilled at the opportunity to work for such a prestigious designer, but he soon discovers Elizabeth wants more than his talent. Beneath the beautiful mask she presents to the world lurks the evil of a vampire whose lust for beauty is surpassed only by her thirst for blood.

Evan’s life is shattered when Elizabeth turns him into one of her “children.” Unable to bear what he has become, he flees to New York to find his best friend, police officer Will Trask. The one person who might be able to help him.

But you can’t hide…

Together, Evan and Will find themselves drawn deeper into a strange world they never knew existed. Standing against the vampires are the theriomorphs, shapeshifters who serve as the guardians of Gaia, the embodiment of all life on earth. Though sworn to eradicate every vampire, Marielle Du Lac, the leader of the theriomorphs, offers them a bargain. If they help bring down Elizabeth, her people will try to find a way to restore Evan to life.

Caught up in an ancient war between two powerful supernatural forces, Evan and Will must choose sides, because if they are to have any chance of a future together, they must destroy Elizabeth Nadasdy before she destroys them.


Will had always been protective of those he cared about, and Evan was no exception, especially since Evan's attractive face, slender build and "out and proud" attitude had occasionally made him a target on campus. It had been that way since their freshman year, and it was no different now. It was ridiculous, perhaps, and no doubt part of that White Knight thing Evan had always teased him about, but Will couldn't help it; it was just the way he was.

"You might as well 'fess up now, because I'm going to get the story out of you one way or another. I'm not going to let anyone hurt you if I can do anything about it. We stick together, right?" Will's tone grew serious. "I mean it, Evan. You know you can count on me. You're my best friend." It was still true, even though they hadn't been face-to-face in years. No one had ever taken Evan's place in his life; no one ever could.

"Even if I tell you I've been working for a vampire?" Evan asked softly. "I don't mean that figuratively, either. I mean literally. She's a monster. She's killed her own models. She turns people into monsters like her."

For a long moment, Will couldn't do anything but stare at his friend, wondering if this was a joke and he was somehow missing the punch line. Evan's blue eyes were haunted but guileless; the man was a lousy liar, at least when it came to Will, and there was too much pain in Evan's gaze for it to be some elaborate trick. Whatever was really going on, Evan, at least, believed what he was saying, and that was the most horrifying part of it. Whatever had happened to Evan in the last few months had damaged him in a way that Will was afraid he wasn't going to be able to fix.

It was painful to face the fact that his best friend had apparently suffered some sort of mental breakdown, and Will cursed himself for not having tried harder to get in contact when Evan's communications had grown infrequent. Obviously Evan had been going through something terrible, and Will knew that he had to do whatever he could to get Evan the help he needed. Which meant making sure that Evan remained here for now, until Will could figure out how to get him to a doctor.

"Let me make sure I understand what you're saying," he replied, keeping his voice quiet and reassuring. "Elizabeth Nadasdy, the famous fashion designer, is a vampire who kills people. That makes sense, I suppose. Or at least it explains why the models all look as though they weigh five pounds." His attempt at humor sounded hollow, but it was the best he could do at the moment. "And she's after you?"

Evan leaned back away from Will. "You don't believe me. You think I'm crazy."

Will hated to see that look on Evan's face, the question of sanity aside. "Evan, it's not that I don't want to believe you, all right? But you know how it sounds, don't you?" He knew his tone was pleading. "Vampires don't exist. I can tell you believe it, though, and that makes it hard, because I know you'd never lie to me. But how can I believe it? How can you believe it?" He reached out and touched Evan's arm in mute appeal. "How?"

Evan met Will's gaze, his expression steady and calm, no trace of madness lurking in his gaze. "I don't just believe it. I know it. I know it because I'm one, too."

Author Bio:
Ari McKay is the professional pseudonym for Arionrhod and McKay, who collaborate on original m/m fiction. They began writing together in 2004 and finished their first original full length novel in 2011. Recently, they’ve begun collaborating on designing and creating costumes to wear and compete in at Sci Fi conventions, and they share a love of yarn and cake.

Arionrhod is an avid costumer, knitter, and all-around craft fiend, as well as a professional systems engineer. Mother of two human children and two dachshunds who think they are human, she is a voracious reader with wildly eclectic tastes, devouring romance novels, military science fiction, horror stories and Shakespeare with equal glee. She is currently preparing for the zombie apocalypse.

McKay is an English teacher who has been writing for one reason or another most of her life. She also enjoys knitting, reading, cooking, and playing video games. She has been known to knit in public. Given she has the survival skills of a gnat, she’s relying on Arionrhod to help her survive the zombie apocalypse.


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Cover Reveal: Ice on Fire by GR Lyons

Title: Ice on Fire
Author: GR Lyons
Series: Treble and the Lost Boys Trilogy #1
Genre: M/M Romance, Fantasy
Expected Release Date: April 27, 2018
Cover Design: Designs by Dana
Summary:
Zac Cinder is on the verge of making his dream come true. His punk rock band, Inferno, might have a shot at an audition for a record deal. Fame and fortune would mean he could finally help his parents. They'd raised eight kids in a loving household while barely scraping by, so Zac is determined to give back in any way he can.

Keeping Inferno together, though, means keeping his biggest secret. His bigoted bandmates would drop him in an instant if they found out Zac was gay.

Then he meets Adrian Frost, and Zac can't resist the shy man. Adrian gives up everything to be with Zac, but Zac can't bring himself to do the same. He doesn't want to lose Adrian, but he can't give up Inferno, either. Not when he's so close to realizing his dream.

When one cruel decision rips Adrian from his life, Zac will have to decide if ambition is worth the price of the greatest happiness he's ever known.

πŸ’¦Note: This story takes place in a fictional world, the same as in the Shifting Isles Series. There are multiple gods, different names for the days of the week, etc. A glossary is included.πŸ’¦

πŸ’₯WARNING: Contains scenes of self-harm that may be disturbing for some readers.πŸ’₯

Author Bio:
While daylighting as office manager for the family auto repair business, G.R. Lyons can often be found working on one of multiple manuscripts or desperately trying to keep up with the TBR pile.

Anarcho-capitalist, quietly ‘out’ trans guy, former belly dancer, coffee guzzler, highly-sensitive introvert, CrossFit enthusiast, and lover of m/m romantic fiction.


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