So if you have made it to day 6 of the Ghoul’s Gym blog tour, then you know that Eric Arvin and TJ Klune are not in a position to promote their book. Usually very accessible to their, readers, fans, & sycophants (TJ’s word there), they would be giving us (i.e. the M/M Romance blogging community) an episode of the TJ & Eric show, or an interview or whatever we asked to help promote this release. Since they have more important things to worry about, we are doing this in absentia. We are taking a little different approach and talking first about WHY TJ & Eric are so important to each of us.
First of all, I would like to paraphrase TJ’s update from yesterday. Basically Eric was given a choice between doing nothing and almost certainly continuing to decline or taking the risks associated with a very delicate surgery and still likely have a loss of function. I think it surprises no one that Eric chose to fight. He wouldn’t even let TJ tell him everything the Doctor said, his mind was made up.
I have been told, by those who know him in real life, that he is a stubborn SOB, and I have to believe that. He has defied the odds once with this disease. I know he can do it again. He will be going in for surgery early this week, hopefully Monday or Tuesday. So if you have any good thoughts and prayers to spare, I am sure they would be happy to accept them.
Also, the donation page is still open, so if you want to help defray the medical and associated costs for TJ, family and friends, you can use the link in the right hand sidebar (you know the one with the 2 handsome men with the killer smiles, that is the one)
Why we are here
I discovered TJ Klune very early in my M/M Romance education when someone suggested I read Bear, Otter and The Kid. Honestly, I saw the cover and title and couldn’t understand WHY the hell someone said that is was a must read. Then I opened it up on my kindle and within the first chapter, I discovered the answer. TJ Klune has a way with words, a depth to his stories, and sensitivity for his characters that you have to admire, and I highly enjoy.
It was a lot later that I finally discovered Eric Arvin. He is kind of a quiet genius of the M/M world. Mostly because he doesn’t fit into the “mold” of the typical M/M Romance books. His strength lies in his imagination, world building, humor, and outlook on the world. He writes beautiful epic fantasies that happen to have gay characters, as well as satirical looks at gay society, and somewhat introspective contemporary romances (he also has a horror novel coming up in 2014). His heart and soul are in each and every one, and everyone I have read has been a treat. Here are a couple of my reviews: Woke Up in a Strange Place and Kid Christmas Rides Again.
One thing I love about this couple is just how much they both put themselves into their work. I have already said all this, however, in this post. So I won’t repeat it.
With the holidays upon us, my heart hurts because anyone who “knows” this couple knows just how much TJ loves Christmas and Eric loves Dolly Parton. Since I was a little kid, one of my favorite Christmas songs has been Hard Candy Christmas by Dolly Parton. Everytime, I hear this song come on my holiday playlist, I think of TJ & Eric.
Review of Ghoul’s Gym
So Ghoul’s Gym is why we are here… It came out Wednesday as a single and can be purchased here from the publisher, Wilde City (along with the other 2 stories, we talked about here on Wednesday). I have for you a review from one of the new reviewers here at BRB (well she is new to BRB not to the M/M genre), Beverley.
The anthology ‘Zombie Boyz’ represents my total zombie reading as an adult. Having said that what a collection of stories and authors to start with. Rather than review each one I will just review my favourite…’Ghoul’s Gym’ by TJ Klune and Eric Arvin. However, first a confession, I really did enjoy the whole anthology and this pleasantly surprised me. The stories are all very well written and full of amazing humour, one liners and even some sexy moments.
So, ‘Ghouls Gym’ is, according to TJ Klune, the beginning of a series they are calling ‘The Art of Man’. There is a slight satirical nod towards gay gym culture and the obsession with the perfect body, this story however, is a real romp!
Shut in a gym during a zombie plague, our heroes and we the readers, have to deal with gore by the bucket load, a sexual act, which leads to one man becoming ‘genitally challenged’ by a zombie bite (or rather chew). Additionally, there is a wonderfully descriptive exploding muscle man and the amazing Alphabet Twinks. Only these two writers could combine the sexual act of ‘fisting’ with amputation and a zombie plague! The narrative moves along at speed and is not only enjoyable but very visual, which can be occasionally difficult to swallow (pardon the pun) in a zombie story. Unlike many horror ‘fests’, ‘Ghouls Gym’ has a really interesting plot line, which includes a love story. The plot unrolls during a race through a gay gym, by an odd collection of extraordinary characters, to find an exit and avoid becoming dinner for crazed zombies. We have been promised further parts to this story, as we are left with a cliffhanger ending. Personally speaking I can’t wait!
‘Ghouls Gym’ by TJ Klune and Eric Arvin; ‘Guess Who’s Coming At Dinner’ by Geoffrey Knight and Ethan Day and ‘Surviving Sin City’ by Ethan Stone and Daniel A Kaine were all re-released as a ‘singles’ on 18th December 2013.
(Eric Arvin is currently seriously ill in hospital our thoughts are with him, TJ Klune and his family.)
There are still a few stops on the blog tour (and if you haven’t visited the other stops, please do so). Here is the full schedule:
12/17 – JP Barnaby
12/18 – Mrs Condit & Friends Read Books
12/19 – MM Good Book Reviews
12/20 – Kage Alan
12/21 – Joyfully Jay
12/22 – Brandilyn Reviews Books (You are here)
12/23 – The Novel Approach
12/24 – Sid Love
12/25 – The Kimi-chan Experience
If you would like you can visit my friends over at Joyfully Jay and The Novel Approach to see the specials they did in conjunction with the original release of Zombie Boyz. They talk about their experiences writing Ghoul’s Gym. (Warning, make sure you are somewhere you can laugh out loud)
Where to Buy
Yes, I said giveaways as in 2 (well 3 really). First comment below for a chance to win a free download code from the Ghoul’s Gym publisher Wilde City. You can comment at each blog stop for a chance to win. I will draw the winner from BRB on the 26th of December after the conclusion of the Blog tour.
Secondly enter on the Rafflecopter below for your chance at an Amazon $25 giftcard or a copy of Christmas Kitsch by Amy Lane (a 5* read for me). This is the same RC that is at each stop.
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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