We are thrilled to welcome Santino Hassell to Sinfully today on the blog tour for the upcoming anthology Follow Me into Darkeness due for release on the 4th February.
Five great stories from Five great authors!
Santino Hassell - On Being an Introvert
Why was I being rude? He was gorgeous. Flirting was supposed to happen. Why did my flirting always turn into snarling? Nobody understood it. The type of people who would weren't the type of people who would be in this bar.
I have a Type.
In the real world, I'm almost always attracted to people who have sharp tongues, smart-ass smiles, and possess the ability to pierce my skin with their laser glare. If they happen to have an arsenal of sarcastic retorts in their repertoire? Even better.
In book world, I gravitate to the same type. I write characters like Raymond and Michael Rodriguez in SUTPHIN BOULEVARD and SUNSET PARK— guys who have little patience for your nonsense, and aren't afraid to verbally eviscerate you if you get on their bad side. Raymond in particular is my king of one-liners. There's also Watts of STYGIAN--probably the meannest and sassiest character I've ever written who still managed to win the hearts of many readers.
So, you get the picture. I like hard characters with protective layers that are peeled away by That Special Someone. Zay in Hurricane is no exception, but he doesn't have the bad boy edge that a lot of my other heroes do. Instead, Zay is insecure and unsure of himself. He's used to being the wallflower at the party--someone who blends in with the crowd before being forgotten. He doesn't think he has anything interesting enough to say to hold someone's attention, and he'd rather stay at home with a book rather than continuously fail at social interactions.
What he doesn't realize is that people do see him. They notice him. But he doesn't know how to respond to attention when he gets it, so he responds with sarcasm and avoidance. It's easier to deal with eventual rejection if you never let anyone get close enough to make you think you stood a chance. Or at least that's what Zay tells himself. He's stayed in his isolated bubble for so long that he never saw Kee coming.
Hurricane is just one story in FOLLOW ME INTO DARKNESS, but it's the story of a loner who meets a devil-may-care stranger, and who throws caution to the wind in order to follow his heart. If you want to know more about how Kee leads Zay through the dark streets of New Orleans during one wild Mardi Gras night, pick up the anthology.
Follow Me Into Darkness: Five Tales of Carnivale Romance
Santino Hassell, J.C. Lillis, J.R. Gray, Kris Ripper, and Roan Parrish
Publisher: Open Ink Press
Expected Date of Publication: 4th February 2016
Follow Me Into Darkness:
Five Tales of Carnivale Romance
Carnivale is a time for decadence, for revelry, and for mischief. A time when we shed the figurative masks we wear in everyday life in favor of new ones… ones that allow us to be a little bolder, a little more adventurous, and perhaps a little truer to ourselves. Follow Me Into Darkness is a compilation of original tales of queer romance by five of the premier authors of contemporary romance.
Hurricane by Santino Hassell
Interesting things never happened to Zay. He was the wallflower everyone forgot about as soon as the booze began to flow, and Mardi Gras had never been an exception. But after a chance encounter with a devil-may-care grifter, this year's celebration brings adventure and whirlwind romance.
If We Be Friends by J.C. Lillis
Seventeen-year-old Ven should be flying high—he's playing the title role in a new TV drama about Hamlet's teen years, and tonight they're having a Mardi Gras cast party in a possibly-haunted castle. But Ven's lost all his mirth since his boyfriend suggested they "take a break," so he plans to skip the bash and brood in his trailer all night. Then the exasperating guy who plays Horatio challenges him to a Shakespearean soliloquy-off, and Ven knows his actorly honor is at stake. He says yes to the duel, trudges off to the the party to meet his fate--and finds that more awaits him onstage than a battle of wits and words.
Masked by J.R. Gray
Blistering heat and half-naked masked men as far as the eye can see, but Heath runs into the one face it’s taken him fifteen years to forget. Javier is plagued with a life of regret, but when a second chance confronts him, can he let go of his hang-ups and seize the moment?
The Queen’s Reflection by Kris Ripper
Isah plays the role everyone expects: malleable and cautious, a true queen. But what others see as a queen’s appropriate modesty is really just a disguise for what Isah has never told anyone, the thing no one can ever know.
This body, dressed in the queen’s gowns, is a lie.
Once a year, at carnival, Isah dons someone else’s clothes and becomes them for a night. A young cook in stained whites, or a stableboy in worn breeches. As long as no one gets too close the pretense holds.
Until two strangers look past all the characters and Isah finally exposes the person behind the mask.
Touched by Roan Parrish
Sometimes when he touches people Philippe Rondeau sees their future. It’s erratic and inconvenient, but mostly he’s learned to deal with it. Sure he hasn’t found true love yet, but he has friends and lovers, and is kept busy running his family’s jazz club in Prohibition-era New Orleans. But now it’s Mardi Gras and all bets are off. In the space of one night, Philippe falls under the spell of jazz musician Claude and learns a terrible secret about his powers. If Philippe is certain of anything it’s that the future can be tricky, but the chance at love makes it all seem worthwhile.
Meet the Authors
When not staying up all night writing, J.R Gray can be found basking in the warm glow of the Miami sun, or at the gym where it's half assumed Gray is a permanent resident. A dominant, pilot, and sword fighting enthusiast, Gray finds it hard to be in the passenger seat of any car. Gray frequently interrupts real life, including normal sleep patterns, to jot down nonsense. The bane of Gray's existence are commas, and even though it's been fully acknowledged they are necessary, they continue to baffle and bewilder.
If Gray wasn't writing…well, that's not possible. The buildup of untold stories would haunt Gray into an early grave or possibly a mental institution where the tales would end up on the walls in crayon and finger paint.
J.R. Gray is genderqueer and prefers he/him pronouns.
Santino Hassell was raised by a conservative family, but he was anything but traditional. He grew up to be a smart-mouthed, school cutting grunge kid, then a transient twenty-something, and eventually transformed into an unlikely romance author.
Santino writes LGBTQ romance that is heavily influenced by the gritty, urban landscape of New York City, his belief that human relationships are complex and flawed, and his own life experiences.
Sign up for Santino’s newsletter! santinohassell.com/newsletter/
J.C. loves koi ponds, abandoned amusement parks, and peanut butter & banana sandwiches. She hates paper cuts, cabbage, and writing bios. She lives in Baltimore and is the author of two YA novels.
Roan Parrish grew up in Michigan and lives in Philadelphia, but is always a few minutes away from deciding to move. A former academic, she’s used to writing things that no one reads. She still loves to geek out about books, movies, TV, and music—now, though, she’s excited to be writing the kind of romantic, angsty stories that she loves to escape into.
When not writing, she can usually be found cutting her friends’ hair, wandering through whatever city she’s in while listening to torch songs and melodic death metal, or cooking overly elaborate meals. One time she may or may not have baked a six-layer chocolate cake and then thrown it out the window in a fit of pique. She loves bonfires, winter beaches, and minor chord harmonies.
Sign up for Roan's newsletter to get periodic announcements about new releases, giveaways, and, you know, general super secret stuff:http://bit.ly/1bNCAaF
Come hang out with Roan and make social media more bearable!
Kris Ripper lives in the great state of California and hails from the San Francisco Bay Area. Kris shares a converted garage with a toddler, can do two pull-ups in a row, and can write backwards. (No, really.) Kris is genderqueer and prefers the z-based pronouns because they’re freaking sweet. Ze has been writing fiction since ze learned how to write, and boring zir stuffed animals with stories long before that.