New release: Gaming and IRL Boss Fights by Alina Popescu Popescu talks about her history with gaming to mark the third book in the Famous on the Internet gay romance series

I’m happy to have Alina Popescu on my blog today to talk about her love of gaming in honor of her new novella, Gaming and IRL Boss Fights, the third book in the Famous on the Internet gay romance series. Read on to enjoy her ode to gaming (she mentions Frogger, so of course she’s won my heart), and then check out her books below!


My Ode to Gaming

by Alina Popescu

The first time I played the video game was during my informatics class, when I was about fourteen. For half of my class, which consisted of two hours a week spent in the informatics lab, I tried to make a rider and his horse get past their third obstacle. I always failed, but I kept trying to beat this Summer Olympics–inspired game. Later, I discovered Frogger or on my then boyfriend’s computer. I was in high school by then, but still as bad at making that frog jump across the street in heavy traffic and keep it from dying.

My first gaming addiction, however, happened in my last year of high school. This was my first experience playing a real-time strategy game and I got hooked on playing Dune 2000 with my cousins. They were far better, but indulgently watched me struggle to survive the harsh deserts of Arrakis.

It wasn’t until university that the gamer in me blossomed. I’ve been known to skip on uni classes to play Heroes of Might and Magic. No joke, full days spent not going to class, and playing games. My favorites at the time were Heroes 3, Heroes 4, and Unreal Tournament. Since then, I never cured my slight addiction to gaming. I happened to find a game, fall in love with it, and play it for hours and hours every day.

As I took my responsible-adult role more seriously, I started limiting my gaming time. After years and years of experience, I know quite well when to cut myself off or when to not allow myself to play at all. You’d think that after all this time, I’d be better at games. I can manage with some, but I definitely am still crap at platformers. Just watch my random footage from Cuphead if you ever watch my writing vlogs on YouTube. I died a lot in this game. I died so many times in Cuphead, I am tempted to make a compilation of 1,001 deaths. I still have to die a few hundred times, but it’s not that much of a stretch to get to the 1,000 milesone.

Despite my mediocre skills at gaming, I still love them with a passion that will never be extinguished. I love the character design, I love the stories they tell, and I love the thrill they bring when you succeed in achieving a goal. Be that to survive the next five minutes, beat the game, or just finish a quest with other gaming friends.

After over twenty years of gaming, my latest release, Gaming and IRL Boss Fights, is my ode this form of entertainment. Or form of art, depends how you look at it. Of course, my protagonist, Simon, is far more skilled than I will ever be. He actually knows what he’s doing, and is successful at it. He is a gaming celebrity, and a YouTube and Twitch star. Enough to say, I did not write his skills based on my own. That doesn’t stop me from loving games just as much as any other skilled game. It feeds my geeky streak. And I’m happy with that side of me, with the nerdiness of it all. Let’s face it, I’ve loved books, writing, manga, anime, and video games for a long time. It’s not like I’m even trying to kid anyone I’m cool. And yet I am, in my own way, because the video gamers I follow, am friends with, or date (my boyfriend’s skills might have been a huge inspiration for this book), they are all amazing. I think they’re as cool as anyone can ever be.

So if you are a gamer, or know one, I think you’ll enjoy Gaming and IRL Boss Fights. Even if it’s basically a love letter to video games from a geeky girl in Romania.


Gaming and IRL Boss Fights by Alina Popescu

About Gaming and IRL Boss Fights

An internet famous geek. A sexy landlord who hates him. An unlikely duo with slim chances of beating the romance game.

Simon Cromfield’s life seems perfect from the outside. His gaming channels made him an internet celebrity, he has great friends, and he’s just moved into a luxurious apartment. Yet his gorgeous landlord did a one-eighty turn and decided he hates Simon, his family thinks he’s a total failure, and some of his fans act like they own him.

Branden Dahlman has enough on his plate. He doesn’t need that pest, Simon, who became the bane of Branden’s existence on top of a large estate he never wanted and a family that drives him insane. As he unleashes his resentment on Simon, the sexy bastard insists on proving Branden wrong about everything.

In an unlikely turn of events, when Simon hits his lowest, Branden is there to support him. But will this new-found thing between them last when the pressures of Simon’s world come crashing in?

Gaming and IRL Boss Fights is the third book in the contemporary gay romance series Famous on the Internet. If you like geeks, binge-watching online content, and enemies-to-lovers tropes, then you will love Alina Popescu’s online celebrity protagonists.

Buy your copy of Gaming and IRL Boss Fights today to join the game:

About the Famous on the Internet Series

Book One—Br0th3rly

Tristan’s love life has one simple rule: his brother, Trevor, is off limits.

To fight his relentless love for Trevor, Tristan left for college at sixteen. A new city, building a new life for himself, and making new friends weren’t enough to give up what he considers sick, twisted feelings. Tristan even started an anonymous blog to cope with his love for his older brother. It made him famous on the Internet, but it wasn’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 introduces his serious boyfriend on one of Tristan’s rare visits home, things get a whole lot more complicated for the adoring kid brother. How far can Tristan run this time before he runs out of places to hide from his feelings?

Disclaimer: the main characters in the story are not blood relatives, the two boys were only raised as siblings.

Buy links

Book Two – Travel and Spice

Famous travel blogger returns home to have his life thrown off balance by his high school crush.

Dante Sandford is at the top of his game. He’s paid to travel the world and share his spicy stories on his blog. He’s still young, gorgeous, and confident. When Dante’s high school reunion knocks on his door, he’s reminded of everything he’s lacking. More so when his old crush, Tommy Clancy, makes a pass at him. Or when the hot romance blows in Dante’s face because of his lifestyle.

Tommy has always been the hottest man in Riverbrook. Possibly the world. He’s stunning, smart, and the kindest soul Dante has ever known. He’s also read Dante’s blog along with all his steamy encounters. No wonder Tommy doesn’t trust Dante for anything more than a casual hookup.

Dante returns to hometown Riverbrook to face his past of bullying and feeling like a misfit. He instead ends up dealing with the reality of being a travel blogger: relationships are close to impossible. That won’t stop Dante from trying to convince Tommy his short-lived flings are not by design.

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About the Alina Popescu

Alina Popescu is an author, traveler, and coffee addict. She has published several paranormal, science fiction, urban fantasy, and contemporary series, many of them having reached the Amazon bestseller lists for their genres. Her stories often fall under the LGBTQ fiction and romance subgenres.

Born and raised in Romania, Alina has been writing for most of her life. She’s an avid consumer of stories in all their forms. She’s fascinated by myths, folk tales, and other creators’ visions of the future. She finds her inspiration in books of all genres, movies, and the occasional TV shows or anime binges.

Alina is a proud geek and needs her fast internet connection and assortment of gadgets more than she needs air.

For a free taste of her writing, visit her website at https://alina-popescu.com, subscribe to her newsletter and get a free copy of her military gay romance, Mission: Protect the Ex.


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