Title: Craving Stains
Author: Alina Popescu
Genre: gay, gay fiction, science fiction, paranormal, gay romance
Publisher: Wayward Ink Publishing
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?
Review by: multitaskingmomma
My Rating: 4 of 4 Stars
(Short & Light Read Category)
Being trapped for most of his life did not give Wynn the chance to have a life outside of his bubble room. So what his body cannot have, his mind found a way.
Who really knows what limits the brain has? This is a question that has boggled the minds of many scientists and up till now, they have not found the answers. They have theories, but not answers. For Wynn, his chance to get out there in the world is only through his mind and one day, he did. That is when he meets Doyle.
For all intents and purposes, Doyle is a real man. He lives in the world that Wynn has never stepped foot on. He is rough, tough and dominant. When he discovers Wynn, he realizes that there are some things in life that he had missed, and one was this little young man who stumbled into his room out of nowhere.
Through the adventures Wynn has with Doyle, there is his mother to contend with. She is a mother to beat all dragons whose only ambition in life is to make sure her son remains in his cage so she never loses him the way she lost everything and everyone else. She is a character we love to hate but when it really comes down to it, is she really as crazy as she seems, or is she just a desperate mother who knows life can take away everything in a snap.
As for Wynn and Doyle, there seems to be no hope for Wynn can never get out. Screaming for help in his mind, Doyle reaches out into a world he never thought to exist and hopes to get his Wynn back.
This is a science fiction short story unlike any I have read before. Many have I read these types of stories where the author's goal is to make us think. How? Why? What? Is it even possible? Are any of these events real?
For me they are, at least from Wynn's point of view. Then again I think they are real from Doyle's point of view. Which is real, which is not? This is a question only the reader can answer for themselves and what makes this a recommended read.
Supernatural or going insane, the not so obvious divide by Alina Popescu
Mysteries, miracles, paranormal occurrences, ghosts, spirits, and the great beyond… We’ve seen them all in books, haven’t we? But say a vampire walked up to you and smiled, showing a bit of fang in the process. How fast would you label him as a diehard fan, someone who wants to use other fans’ obsession to get into their pants, or someone who’s just plain crazy to think they need to drink blood to survive? How many demonstrations would you need? Think of it this way – if your lights flicker, do you think electrical malfunction or ghosts? If you see a grown person talking to someone who’s not there, do you think spirits or imaginary friendships that they didn’t grow out of?
We like to say we keep an open mind when it comes to the supernatural, but in our high tech, no nonsense world, how many times to we really think the paranormal exists?
There is actually a fine line we need to navigate, even when it happens to us, which separates believing we are losing our minds from believing we are truly seeing the supernatural world. Until we get some sort of proof, until we believe, the easiest explanation is considered the best. And that’s rarely that vampires are real. It’s more likely that some Goth kid started believing in the things he’s reading and seeing everywhere.
When it comes to my stories, I like to sometimes dance on that blurred line and make it hard to say whether what’s happening is truly a paranormal event, a made up world someone’s mind came up with to protect them, or just plain old insanity. In most spiritual issues, evidence is limited and we have to take it on faith. Sometimes, it’s the same for scientific facts: we all know it’s beyond impossible we are alone in the universe, but how many of us try to find reasonable explanations for what’s labeled as UFO sightings?
In Craving Stains, that blurry twilight where you can’t say whether it’s day or night is quite evident in Wynn’s encounters with Doyle. It cannot possibly happen, can it? He’s trapped in his apartment. Doyle can’t be real, can he? Or maybe he can. Maybe to Wynn, he is real. Or maybe Wynn, in this not so distant future, pumped up on experimental drugs, checked weekly by nanobots and doctors, has developed a new way to connect with Doyle. Proof, you ask? Limited. Doyle’s surprise, the fact it’s not always the same place where they meet, the lingering scent Wynn still feels when he’s alone.
I’ve invited all my readers to make sense of this shady reality of Wynn’s with me. Dance on the fine line dividing paranormal or supernatural from a mind pushed so far, it either broke, or created a very effective coping mechanism. So when anyone asks what really happens in the end for Craving Stains, I turn and say: “I don’t know. I know what I believe happens. What do you think?”
Prizes: 1 x $20 WIP Gift card and 3 x ebook copy of Craving Stains by Alina Popescu