Santino Hassell on Psychics, Tattoos and his latest release ‘Sightlines (The Community #3)’ (guest post and giveaway)

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Sightlines (The Community #3) by Santino Hassell
Riptide Publishing
Cover by: Kanaxa

Read an Excerpt/Buy it Here at Riptide Publishing

 

Psychics and Tattoos ~ Q & A with Santino Hassell

Two things that fascinate people are psychics and tattoos, so we asked Santino Hassell a few question around them on his Sightlines tour.

Why include them as part of your story?

To me, psychics are one of the most interesting of supernatural people. They’re of the human race, but different. In books, comics, and cartoons they’ve been described as everything from evolved humans to aliens to another race entirely. I left it ambiguous in The Community, because I like people having the ability to decide for themselves, but there is a psychic gene that is hereditary. What I find most interesting about psychic gifts is the way people use them. Do they use them to better their own lives, to help others, or to draw in more power? You meet people from each group in The Community.

As for tattoos, I just think they’re the ultimate form of self-expression.

Why make them a part of main characters?  Do you think that’s a part of how other people will perceive them?

Chase is covered in tattoos, and for him he almost uses them as armor. He’s an outcast in the Community, and at a young age he was painfully aware of that fact. Him covering himself in tattoos was partially his way of deliberately broadcasting and embracing his individualism. It’s his way of saying: “Screw you all. I don’t want to be like you.”

Have you had a reading from a psychic yourself?

I’ve had my palm read before, but it was mostly inaccurate. She hit some things on the nose, but a lot of it was way off. That doesn’t deter me from being utterly fascinated by the subject, though.

How much research did you do?

I read a few books on psychics and read several blogs that are run by self-proclaimed empaths. They were fascinating not only because they gave an in-depth explanation as to what these abilities are, but the blogs especially gave me insight as to the different types of empaths there could be and the different ways that ability is used. One blog went into detail about “empath vampires”, and I was so fascinated.

Is there such a thing as an “elusive tattoo”?

I recently read a book where the hero had an elaborate tattoo on his side, so people rarely got a chance to see it in detail. It was personal, and only for him, and had a pretty serious meaning about his life and past. Sometimes, I think people assume folks get tattoos as a way of standing out, but other times people get them for reasons so personal they’re not even meant to be seen by strangers.

About Sightlines

Chase Payne is a walking contradiction. He’s the most powerful psychic in the Community, but the least respected. He’s the son of the Community’s founder, but with his tattoo sleeves and abrasive attitude, he’s nothing like his charismatic family. No one knows what to make of him, which is how he wound up locked in a cell on the Farm yet again. But this time, the only man he’s ever loved is there too.

Elijah Estrella was used to being the sassy sidekick who fooled around with Chase for fun. But that was before he realized the Community wasn’t the haven he’d believed in and Chase was the only person who’d ever truly tried to protect him. Now they’re surrounded by people who want to turn them against their friends, and the only way out is to pretend the brainwashing works.

With Chase playing the role of a tyrant’s second-in-command, and Elijah acting like Chase’s mindless sex toy, they risk everything by plotting a daring escape. In the end, it’s only their psychic abilities, fueled by their growing love for each other, that will allow them to take the Community down once and for all.

Available now from Riptide Publishing. 

About The Community Series

What lies beneath the surface of the world you thought you knew?

Secrets and lies have twisted an underground community founded by psychics escaping persecution. Blackmail, sex, and social climbing in the name of power has created an irreparable rift.

In the eyes of the founders, there are two sides: loyalists and everyone else. Surely no one would emerge from their tightly woven webs. And they certainly wouldn’t sow the seeds of rebellion within the heart of the Community’s only queer night club.

Now an outcast, a scion, and a runaway are leading a revolution to save not only the men they love, but the entire Community.

Check out The Community series! https://riptidepublishing.com/titles/series/community

About Santino Hassell

Santino Hassell was raised by a conservative family but grew up to be a smart-mouthed, school cutting grunge kid, a transient twenty-something, and eventually transformed into a grumpy introvert and unlikely romance author with an affinity for baseball caps. His novels are heavily influenced by the gritty, urban landscape of New York City, and his desire to write relationships fueled by intensity and passion.

He’s been a finalist in both the Bisexual Book Awards and the EPIC Awards, and was nominated for a prestigious RITA award in 2017. His work has been featured in BuzzFeed, Huffington Post, Washington Post, RT Magazine, and Cosmopolitan Magazine.

Connect with Santino:

Website: www.santinohassell.com

Blog: santinohassell.com/blog

Facebook: www.facebook.com/santinohassellbooks

Twitter: twitter.com/SantinoHassell

Tumblr: thatdudesantino.tumblr.com/

Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/santinohassell/

Instagram: instagram.com/santinohassell

Google+: plus.google.com/u/0/+SantinoHassell/

Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/santino_hassell

 

Giveaway

To celebrate the release of Sightlines, one lucky winner will receive a $15 Riptide credit! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on October 14, 2017. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!

A VVivacious Review: Oversight (The Community #2) by Santino Hassell

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Rating: 3 Stars out of 5
“After the disturbing events that rock Evolution and send aftershocks throughout the Community, Holden finds himself in the middle of the upheaval that has the Community uneasy, and eager to brand Holden as the scapegoat.
When Holden finds himself saddled with another babysitter he is beyond pissed considering all the problems his last babysitter caused but when the babysitter comes in the form of a tall man with ridiculously broad shoulders and huge biceps covered in tattoos who is an invulnerable to boot Holden can’t help but find himself intrigued.
Sixtus Rossi is an invulnerable and thus a complete enigma to Holden who doesn’t realise how dependent he is on his ability to perceive emotions. But Sixtus has a  hidden agenda unknown to Holden.
As these two find themselves in the eye of the storm ready to wreck the Community the swirling mix of attraction and animosity that they share will come to a head in the most unexpected of ways.”
I didn’t like this book, it just didn’t work for me. The book is actually quite well written and I feel that a lot of people will enjoy this book but I also feel that this book just doesn’t have as compelling a story as the first book did.
Initially the thing that was a little irritating was the fact that Holden is completely unaware of just how selfish the Community is. There is a very distinct disconnect between Holden’s view of the Community and the tone of this book with regards to the Community wherein it felt like Holden was holding back the story from progressing just because he wasn’t ready to accept the truth.
The idea of Holden and Sixtus feels intriguing because an empath and an invulnerable can’t be more opposite and we all know what they say about opposites. But contrary to what you would believe, this book actually doesn’t focus much on the psychic abilities of its characters. I for one was very interested in the amount of advantage Holden has over people to know what they truly feel and extrapolate this knowledge to make quick deductions because Holden is a stronger empath than Nate. But despite the fact that Holden is supposed to be a stronger empath he makes almost no use of his abilities and for the most his abilities don’t play a big part in the book and almost no part in the plot. Also, there seems to be a disparity between the empath abilities of Nate in the first book and in the second book he seems stronger in this book but the fact that he now appears to be a stronger empath than Holden was really unexpected, I mean what the hell is up with Holden?
On top of that, Holden and Six feel like they happened too quickly. I wanted more of the angst of being on such different places in the psychic spectrum, more friction between their personalities instead it feels like they were moving along a predestined path and nothing offered any excitement.
The end of chapter thirteen offers the rare glimpse into what I expected this entire book to be like. The entire conversation between Nate and Holden followed by the scene between Six and Holden offers a peak into how this book could have been.
Overall the plot of this book comes across as a little too easy, there is almost no security on the farm and yet some of the strongest psychics have never managed to find their way out. I mean either something more sinister is at play or things aren’t as organised as you would think they would be.
On the whole I think this book suffered more because it couldn’t stand up to my expectations because I never felt like this book was boring or that I didn’t want to finish it. But reading this book made me feel that the emotions that this book should have been making me feel hit an invisible shield and fell short of their target.
Cover Art by Kanaxa. I liked the cover quite a lot.
 
Book Details:
ebook, 242 pages
Published June 26th 2017 by Riptide Publishing
Original TitleOversight
ISBN 1626495076 (ISBN13: 9781626495074)
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesThe Community #2

RIPTIDE TOUR & Giveaway: Oversight (The Community #2) by Santino Hassell (special excerpt)

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Oversight (The Community #2) by Santino Hassell
Riptide Publishing
Cover by: Kanaxa

Available for Purchase at Riptide Publishing

 

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host Santino Hassell on his tour for Oversight, the latest in The Community series. Here’s an excerpt from that story.

♦︎

 

About Oversight

Holden Payne has it all . . . or so he thinks. As heir to the founder of the Community—an organization that finds, protects, and manages psychics—he’s rich, powerful, and treated like royalty. But after a series of disappearances and murders rock the Community, he’s branded the fall guy for the scandal and saddled with a babysitter.

Sixtus Rossi is a broad-shouldered, tattooed lumbersexual with a man bun and a steely gaze. He’s also an invulnerable—supposedly impervious to both psychic abilities and Holden’s charms. It’s a claim Holden takes as a challenge. Especially if sleeping with Six may help him learn whether the Community had more to do with the disappearances than they claimed.

As Holden uncovers the truth, he also finds himself getting in deep with the man sent to watch him. His plan to seduce Six for information leads to a connection so intense that some of Six’s shields come crashing down. And with that comes a frightening realization: Holden has to either stand by the Community that has given him everything, or abandon his old life to protect the people he loves.

Now available from Riptide Publishing

Excerpt

“You look homeless.”

Holden jerked to awareness so abruptly that his neck spasmed as he looked up. Six was looming over him in a pair of sweatpants and a hoodie. He wore running shoes and a headband to keep back his man bun.

“And you look like Rocky Balboa goes hipsta-matic. What are you, doing a remake?”

Six didn’t crack a smile. “Why are you crying?”

Was he? Jesus. Holden ripped an arm over his face. “I’m not.”

“You are. I can see tears on your face. That was a stupid lie.”

“You know, Six, this would be an apt time to put those body-language-reading abilities to good use since your mental shield has also blocked off people skills.” Holden sniffled and wiped his face again. “For future reference, heckling someone who’s trying to hide their tears is generally not the sort of thing normal humans do.”

“I’m not a normal human. I’m an invulnerable.”

“Oh my God. Forget it.” Holden climbed to his feet, wincing. When had his knees become this much of a problem? He blamed the cold instead of his age. “Are you following me?”

“Yes.”

Holden froze with his hands poised to brush over his coat. “What?”

“I followed you to Elijah’s house. I was jogging now though, so this part is a coincidence. I live in a loft a couple of blocks away.”

“Wait. Rewind. Why the hell did you follow me to Elijah’s apartment?”

“To see what you were doing.”

Holden was going to kill him. He really was. “Why?”

“Because you seem emotionally unstable lately, and I wondered where you were going.”

“Again—why?”

Six shrugged. “I have nothing else to do.”

“So you just go around following people?” Holden demanded. “This is not okay.”

“Why? Was I not supposed to know you were meeting him?”

“You’re not supposed to be fucking following me,” Holden shouted, his voice carrying over the water. “Did my father put you up to this?”

“No.” Six scanned the area around them. With the exception of the cars speeding along the highway, there appeared to be nobody around for blocks. And yet he kept looking. “Let’s just say I wanted to make sure I’m the only one who was sent to keep an eye on you.”

Holden stopped wanting to throttle Six long enough to look at him sideways. “Excuse me?”

“I was given a job. That job was to keep you and your stupid club out of trouble.” Six stopped analyzing the desolate streets to meet Holden’s confused gaze. “Which means there should be no other Community thugs following you around the way they do your friends. You feel me?”

“I . . . No. I don’t.” Holden shook his head. “So you’re saying you followed me . . . to make sure nobody else was following me?”

“Yeah. Thanks for catching up.”

Holden flipped him off. “Your logic is completely off.”

“Maybe, but that’s how I operate.”

“What would you have done if you’d found out someone else was following me?”

“I would have found out why.”

“And would you have told me?”

Six started walking backward. “Yes.”

There was no reason in the world why Holden should have believed Six, but for some reason . . . he did.

“Let’s go,” Six said, turning. “It’s cold.”

About The Community Series

What lies beneath the surface of the world you thought you knew?

Secrets and lies have twisted an underground community founded by psychics escaping persecution. Blackmail, sex, and social climbing in the name of power has created an irreparable rift.

In the eyes of the founders, there are two sides: loyalists and everyone else. Surely no one would emerge from their tightly woven webs. And they certainly wouldn’t sow the seeds of rebellion within the heart of the Community’s only queer night club.

Now an outcast, a scion, and a runaway are leading a revolution to save not only the men they love, but the entire Community.

Check out The Community series! https://riptidepublishing.com/titles/series/community

About Santino Hassell

Santino Hassell was raised by a conservative family but grew up to be a smart-mouthed, school cutting grunge kid, a transient twenty-something, and eventually transformed into a grumpy introvert and unlikely romance author with an affinity for baseball caps. His novels are heavily influenced by the gritty, urban landscape of New York City, and his desire to write relationships fueled by intensity and passion.

He’s been a finalist in both the Bisexual Book Awards and the EPIC Awards, and was nominated for a prestigious RITA award in 2017. His work has been featured in BuzzFeed, Huffington Post, Washington Post, RT Magazine, and Cosmopolitan Magazine.

Connect with Santino:

 

Giveaway

To celebrate the release of Oversight, one lucky winner will receive a $15 Riptide credit! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on July 1, 2017. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!

An Ali Audiobook Review: The Interborough (A Five Boroughs Story) by Santino Hassell and Michael Ferraiuolo (Narrator)

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5
The Raymond Rodriguez from a few years ago wouldn’t recognize the guy he is today. He’s left his slacker ways far behind him and is now juggling two jobs and school. But the balancing act doesn’t allow much time for the man he loves.

David is doing his best to be supportive, but problems at work and his own insecurity leave him frustrated—in more ways than the obvious—whenever he goes to bed before Raymond gets home. The heat and affection between them is still there, but they barely have the time or energy to enjoy it. And it doesn’t help that Raymond is still hiding David from his colleagues.

The stress mounts so high that a vacation in paradise is filled with turmoil instead of harmony, and culminates on their return to the five boroughs with broken promises and heartache. They have to figure out how to stop allowing their differences to overshadow their love. It’s the only way they’ll make it to forever.
 
I know I’m in the minority here, but Ray and David were my least favorite couple in this series.  I really didn’t have much interest in reading more about them but the author promised more Nunzio so I was here in a hot minute.  I have to say this turned out to be a really enjoyable story and I’m super glad I read it.
 
These two have been together over a year at the time this takes place and they are really struggling.  Ray is working himself ragged with two jobs and school and David’s struggling with insecurities due to a number of things.  The book starts with them in a bad place and things only go down hill.  I probably say this in every review of this author’s work but I think his number one strength is his ability to make his characters feel so real.  He writes every day, average people who are flawed and who you can relate to in different ways.  There’s a saying in marriage therapy that there is “your side, their side and the truth”.  This was the case here.  Ray and David are both trying but they see everything differently and they were both wrong.  But they were also both right.  Anyone who’s been in a long term relationship knows how hard it can be sometimes.  There’s even a discussion at one point about how love is not always enough to make a relationship work and I think a lot of us know how true that can be.  So, there’s some angst here. There’s a bit of heartache for both of the MC’s.  But, there’s also some beauty in the rawness of their emotions.  These two work for their hea but that just makes seeing them get it so much more beautiful.
Hands down though, my favorite part of the book was the epilogue.  That was everything!  Maybe my favorite thing this author has ever written.  I enjoyed this entire book but even if I hadn’t have, it would have all been worth it just for the epilogue.  
I had originally read this book when it first came out but wanted to try it on audio, mostly for the epilogue part.  This was narrated by Michael Ferraiuolo and I have to say it was a fantastic narration.  He took this book to another level and his narration made Ray and David come to life. Every bit of humor, romance, sadness, anger, it was all here and it was packed with emotion.  I bought into these two and their romance way more in hearing it than I did in reading it. The audio took me from liking this story to loving this story.
This is the fourth book in this series and should not be read as a standalone.  It is basically a continuation of the book Sunset Park.  You would definitely need to read at least that one before you read this.  If you’re a fan of this series I definitely recommend this audio.  It was just wonderful.
The cover was done by Mel Seser and I think it was nicely done.  The same model was used for all the books in the series about the Rodriguez brothers and I think that was a great move.  It ties them all together nicely and is a good representation of the characters.
Audiobook Details:
Audible Audio, 1 page
Published May 15th 2017 by Riptide Publishing (first published October 24th 2016)
Original TitleInterborough
ASINB071VP1NQ4
SeriesFive Boroughs #4

A Caryn Review: Concourse (Five Boroughs #5) by Santino Hassell

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Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

First off, let me just say that I love, love, LOVE the Five Boroughs series, and I struggled with what rating to give this book.  I’ve become very invested in all of the characters, and I’ve also joined Mr. Hassell’s Patreon to read additional short stories that he writes in this universe (check out Patreon if you’re interested, it’s worth it!) He includes a pretty broad spectrum of NYCs queer community, and I continue to enjoy how all the characters are represented in each novel, even if only as cameos.

That being said, I think that Ashton Townsend, the main character of this book, was probably the one that I was least interested in reading more about.  In First and First, he was written as a wealthy, vapid, oversexed party boy who had no direction in life and didn’t even seem to want one.  I think this book started out a little behind the eight ball as the author had to reinvent Ashton as a lost soul who had a fabulous cover as an oversexed party boy, and that really was a bit of an uphill battle.  Valdrin Leka is a completely new character we haven’t seen in the earlier books, and the first from the Bronx.  He’s a cab driver by day, and amateur boxer by night, and has his sights set on qualifying for the Olympics so he can eventually go pro.  His mother was Ashton’s nanny, so these two men have known each other since they were pre-teens, and in many ways they grew up together despite coming from drastically different backgrounds.

This isn’t a story about falling in love.  These two men have been in love with each other for years, but for various reasons they have been unwilling to admit it to themselves or to each other.  And I guess that’s the main reason I didn’t like this book as much as I enjoyed the others in the series.  There seemed to be a very abrupt change, especially in Val, from being distant to being unable to stay away from each other.  The reasons given as to why they changed weren’t really convincing to me, and the angst in the book – yes, of course there is angst, even more than usual for this series – was mostly due to the secrets Val kept from Ashton, and Ashton’s deep seated insecurity.  And while the relationship between Raymond and David, or Michael and Nunzio, also had the same themes, for some reason I just wasn’t feeling it for Val and Ashton.  When these men just got over their issues at the end of the book, I could only wonder why the hell it took them so long.

Despite feeling a bit disappointed in the characters and the plot, I was happy to see another facet of sexuality introduced – the demisexual, or one who only feels sexual attraction infrequently, and usually only after a significant emotional bond has already developed.  Now in the Five Boroughs universe we have many gay characters, several bisexuals, a pansexual man, a lesbian woman, a demisexual man, some monogamous couples and some swingers.  The group of friends is increasingly diverse in regards to class and ethnicity as well, and I find it amazing how they all interact so well and so naturally with each other.  I am looking forward to the next book(s) in the series, which I think will be Jace and Aiden’s story, but I have to say that I am shipping Charles and Clive and hope that they will get together at some point as well.  Even though this is my least favorite in the series so far, I still can’t get enough of these characters and Mr. Hassell’s writing.  His characters are unique and interesting, his dialogue is fluent and effortless and some of the best I’ve read anywhere (not just in this genre), and his writing is exciting and just leaves me thirsting for more.  Very highly recommended!

Cover art by L. C. Chase, is, as always, amazing.  I would believe that Mr. Santino saw this model before he even dreamed about Ashton, he is so perfect.

Sales Links:  Riptide Publishing |Amazon | BNkobo | iBooks |

Book Details:

ebook, 366 pages
Published April 29th 2017 by Riptide Publishing
Original TitleConcourse
ISBN 1626495629 (ISBN13: 9781626495623)
Edition LanguageEnglish
URLhttp://riptidepublishing.com/titles/concourse
SeriesFive Boroughs #5

In the Spotlight: Concourse (Five Boroughs #5) by Santino Hassell (giveaway)

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Concourse (Five Boroughs #5) by Santino Hassell
R
iptide Publishing
Cover by: L.C. Chase

Read an Excerpt/Purchase it Here at Riptide Publishing

About Concourse

Ashton Townsend is the most famous celebutante of Manhattan’s glitterati. The black sheep of his wealthy family, he’s known for his club appearances, Instagram account, and sex tape. Most people can’t imagine him wanting for anything, but Ashton yearns for friendship, respect, and the love of his best friend—amateur boxer Valdrin Leka. 

Val’s relationship with Ashton is complicated. As the son of Ashton’s beloved nanny, Val has always bounced between resenting Ashton and regarding him as his best friend. And then there’s the sexual attraction between them that Val tries so hard to ignore.

When Ashton flees his glitzy lifestyle, he finds refuge with Val in the Bronx. Between Val’s training for an upcoming fight and dodging paparazzi, they succumb to their need for each other. But before they can figure out what it all means—and what they want to do about it—the world drags them out of their haven, revealing a secret Val has kept for years. Now, Ashton has to decide whether to once again envelop himself in his party-boy persona, or to trust in the only man who’s ever seen the real him.

Available now from Riptide Publishing

About the Five Boroughs Universe

New York City—home of soaring skyscrapers, concrete boulevards, and the hopes and dreams of millions. A city where opposites attract and romance is found in unlikely places. From the glittering penthouses of Manhattan to the blue collar neighborhoods of Queens, values get tested, cultures clash, and connections made. Men of diverse backgrounds examine their lives, test their sexual boundaries, and seek success in an unforgiving urban landscape that moves fast and stops for no one. Despite the odds, there’s love to be found in the five boroughs as long as they’re willing to work for it.

Check out the Five Boroughs Universe. http://riptidepublishing.com/titles/universe/five-boroughs

About Santino Hassell

Santino was raised by a conservative family, but he was anything but traditional. He grew up to be a smart-mouthed grunge kid, then a transient twentysomething, and eventually transformed into a guy who spends his days and nights writing romance with an edge.

Santino is a dedicated gamer, a former fanfic writer, an ASoIaF mega nerd, a Grindr enthusiast, but most of all he is a writer of LGBT fiction 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.

Connect with Santino:

Giveaway

To celebrate the release of Concourse, one lucky winner will receive a $25 Riptide credit! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on May 6, 2017. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!

In the Paranormal Spotlight: Insight (The Community #1) by Santino Hassell (Riptide Publishing Tour and Giveaway)

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Insight (The Community #1) by Santino Hassell
R
iptide Publishing
Cover by: Kanaxa

Available for Purchase at Riptide Publishing/Read An Excerpt here

 

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have Santino Hassell here today talking about the inspiration behind Insight and the way in which the author sees the cast of characters.  Welcome, Santino!

✒︎

 

The idea for INSIGHT first came to me along with a vision of Nate’s family. A haunting, dysfunctional, psychic family full of people who share strong physical

Nathaniel “Nate” Black played by Blue Equis

straits. Willowy, pale, ash blond hair, and gray eyes. People who look spectral, have dark secrets, and who push each other away despite sharing this strong bond.

However, as I began writing, I had strong mental images for the entire cast of characters—from the skeptical wise guy, Trent, whom Nate

Trent played by Anthony Gastelier

meets on his road trip across the country to investigate his brother’s death, to the psychics Nate meets after stumbling upon the Community-run queer nightclub his brother worked at. I’d collected inspiration pics very early on so, here is my INSIGHT dream cast.

Holden played by Devin Paisley

Chase played by Josh Beech

Holden played by Devin Paisley

Elijah played by Marlon Teixeira

  

 

About Insight

Growing up the outcast in an infamous family of psychics, Nate Black never learned how to control his empath abilities. Then after five years without contact, his estranged twin turns up dead in New York City. The claim of suicide doesn’t ring true, especially when a mysterious vision tells Nate it was murder. Now his long-hated gift is his only tool to investigate. 

Hitching from his tiny Texas town, Nate is picked up by Trent, a gorgeous engineer who thrives on sarcasm and skepticism. The heat that sparks between them is instant and intense, and Nate ends up trusting Trent with his secrets—something he’s never done before. But once they arrive in the city, the secrets multiply when Nate discovers an underground supernatural community, more missing psychics, and frightening information about his own talent.

Nate is left questioning his connection with Trent. Are their feelings real, or are they being propelled by abilities Nate didn’t realize he had? His fear of his power grows, but Nate must overcome it to find his brother’s killer and trust himself with Trent’s heart.

Now available at Riptide. http://www.riptidepublishing.com/titles/insight

About Santino Hassell

Santino was raised by a conservative family, but he was anything but traditional. He grew up to be a smart-mouthed grunge kid, then a transient twentysomething, and eventually transformed into a guy who spends his days and nights writing romance with an edge.

Santino is a dedicated gamer, a former fanfic writer, an ASoIaF mega nerd, a Grindr enthusiast, but most of all he is a writer of LGBT fiction 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.

Connect with Santino:

Giveaway

To celebrate the release of Insight, one lucky winner will receive $20 in Riptide credit! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on March 18, 2017. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!

A VVivacious Review: Insight (The Community #1) by Santino Hassell

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Rating: 5 Stars out of 5
 
Nathaniel “Nate” Black is a loner, shunned by the people of Brookside, Texas and also a psychic. In fact, the entire Black family is known for being drunks and lunatics and for their high tendencies to commit suicide stemming from the psychic potential that runs strong in their bloodline. So no one is too shocked when news of Theo’s suicide reaches Brookside.
 
And Nate would believe it too, if not for the fact that he is assaulted by a vision of Theo’s impending death which convinces him of the fact that Theo’s death may not have been a suicide. As he makes his way to New York to uncover a whole nest of lies and secrets, he finds a partner in crime in the form of Trent.
 
As Nate and Trent’s attraction continues to grow, Nate is blindsided by knowledge of his own abilities which leaves him questioning the nature of his relationship with Trent.
 
I want the next one already!! Oh my God! This book was simply amazing. I am awestruck.
 
This book is a paranormal mystery romance, in that order. I loved the plot of this book. It was so complicated and yet so well thought out and extremely well executed. It was just so interesting that I kept turning the pages till I reached the last one because it was almost impossible for me to stop in between.
 
This book is dark but nowhere near dystopia dark and definitely nowhere near ICoS (In the Company of Shadows) dark. In fact if you were to compare it to ICoS this book is almost hunky-dory but it definitely has darker elements with a lot of suspense and foreshadowing that you generally don’t find in romance novels.
 
Also this book focuses on the paranormal mystery more than it does on the romance but I never felt like the romance was side-lined. But frankly the murder mystery is so interesting that sometimes I wished I could skip the romantic parts, not that the romance was in any way boring, it was just that I had become a whole lot more invested in Theo’s murder.
 
Personally I loved Nate and Theo as individuals and as a couple. I loved their banter on their road trip and loved how Theo was Nate’s sounding board. I especially loved how Theo is written. This book is entirely from Nate’s POV and it is essentially Nate’s story but at no point in the book did I feel that Trent was not a character in his own right or that he was just someone to help Nate and further the plot which I feel is truly amazing given the fact that the book is entirely from Nate’s POV.
 
The most amazing part of this story was that it introduces a lot of characters. In order of introduction they would be – Nate, Dade, Eric, Trent, Eveline, Beck, Chase, Elijah, Holden, Jericho, Lia, Taìne and Felicia. But all these characters stood out, like they were all people whose stories were worth knowing and I can truthfully say I am actually interested in all their stories. Also I would love to read about Theo, who is dead in this book and whose death is the catalyst for the plot, and who is pretty deplorable if his actions towards his twin brother are any indication but I still wanted to know his story. By the end of the story I was sad about the fact that Nate and Theo would never make up and I know my emotions are totally fuelled by Nate’s inability to not defend his brother but I really want to know what Theo’s character was actually like was he bad like his teenage years suggested or was he actually a good person and would Nate and Theo ever make up had Theo lived. I must say for a guy who only shows up in memories Theo ended up making quite an impression which lent an urgency to bringing his murderer to justice.
 
Also yes, there are a lot of psychic abilities showcased in this book, some more impressive than others. But the fact that Nate is pretty much in the dark about other psychic abilities means that this book is not inundated with the paranormal something I think will be ramped up in the next book with Holden being the narrator who is very much in control of his abilities.
 
This book is self-contained in the sense that Theo’s murder mystery is resolved but there are a lot of new elements about the Community that are introduced in this book which will probably be the focus of books later in this series and I can’t wait to learn more.
 
All in all, this book was amazing. I can’t wait to read more in this series and I really hope we get a book about Chase in the future.
 
Cover Art by Kanaxa. The cover is impressive!
Sales Links
other  links to come
Book Details:
ebook, 320 pages
Expected publication: March 13th 2017 by Riptide Publishing
ISBN139781626495050
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesThe Community #1

A Caryn Review: Interborough (Five Boroughs #4) by Santino Hassell

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Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

interborough_600x900I have been waiting eagerly for this installment of the Five Boroughs series, and Mr. Hassell does not disappoint!  I know he only has 5 books planned, but I have to admit that I could see him go on and on with this series.  I’ve heard his descriptions of the city described as “gritty” and “realistic”, and I wholeheartedly concur, because the setting is so integral to all of the books that it’s almost like another character.  This book should not be read as a standalone, as the backstory for all of the characters is necessary to appreciate this one.

Interborough begins about a year after the events of First and First.  Raymond and David (my favorite couple in the series) are still living in Sunset Park, and Raymond has done what he promised to do:  he’s taking classes, working on the docks, but is still working in the office drone job that he hates because he needs the money.  He’s proud of himself for finally becoming a responsible adult, financially independent, with a plan for the future.  He remains completely committed to David, even though they hardly see each other because of his 18 hour days.  David is also under more job stress than usual as he is up for tenure at the same time that his student’s test scores are bombing, and someone in administration is looking for a scapegoat.

I love this couple!  They are the most unlikely in the series so far, the youngest, and the most immature when they first meet.  Raymond is in a real relationship for the first time in his life, but he’s so hung up on the need to prove that he’s adulting well that he refuses to see how his schedule is affecting David.  David is insecure – still carrying a lot of baggage from his relationship with Caleb – and without Raymond’s physical presence, he descends into anxious clinginess that makes him ashamed and starts the cycle over again.  In Sunset Park the author shows how the best traits of the two men brought them together, and in this book he shows how their worst traits threaten their happiness.  Both Raymond and David remain true to who they were in the first book, but there is the sense that now they are facing the cold hard facts of what it means to be together, and how much they need to listen to and respect each other, and compromise.  I know these are romances, so there is going to be a HEA, but I am so happy to have true realism in a book!

Because so much of the book is concerned with the internal growth of both men, there is much less action.  Outside events occur that affect them, but the focus is on how them men respond mentally and emotionally rather than physically to these events.  Even the cruise, which from the blurb I expected to take up a large part of the narrative, is minor in that it only highlights problems the men already have.  All of the characters from the previous three books are present, and I was happy to see Raymond and Michael finally become more like the brothers they used to be, David fit into the groove of Raymond’s old neighborhood friends, and even Caleb and Oli become allies.

The only thing that makes me take off half a star is that the physical relationship between Raymond and David seems a bit stale and rote.  I don’t read a book for the sex, but in the previous three books it was phenomenal *fans self just thinking about it* so I’ve come to expect amazingly hawt sex from all of these guys.  And the desperation of some of their reunions should have been enough to guarantee that, but it fell short of the extremely high bar the author set in the first three books.  That being said, it’s still very well written!

Overall, very highly recommended, as is the entirety of the series.  I can’t wait for the next one!

I was please to see that even though the series moved from Dreamspinner to Riptide, the cover art still features a photo by Mel Seser, although this time the design is done by L.C. Chase.  The photography is perfect for this book as it is for the rest of the series.

Sales Links

Riptide Publishing

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Book Details:

ebook, 249 pages
Published October 24th 2016 by Riptide Publishing
Original TitleInterborough
ISBN 1626494754 (ISBN13: 9781626494756)
Edition LanguageEnglish

SeriesFive Boroughs #4

In the Spotlight: Interborough (Five Boroughs #4) by Santino Hassell (giveaway)

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Interborough (Five Boroughs #4) by Santino Hassell

Riptide Publishing
Cover Art by Mel Seser
Release Date: October 24, 2016

Read an Excerpt/Buy It Here

 

 

About Interborough

The Raymond Rodriguez from a few years ago wouldn’t recognize the guy he is today. He’s left his slacker ways far behind him and is now juggling two jobs and school. But the balancing act doesn’t allow much time for the man he loves.

David is doing his best to be supportive, but problems at work and his own insecurity leave him frustrated—in more ways than the obvious—whenever he goes to bed before Raymond gets home. The heat and affection between them is still there, but they barely have the time or energy to enjoy it. And it doesn’t help that Raymond is still hiding David from his colleagues.

The stress mounts so high that a vacation in paradise is filled with turmoil instead of harmony, and culminates on their return to the five boroughs with broken promises and heartache. They have to figure out how to stop allowing their differences to overshadow their love. It’s the only way they’ll make it to forever.

Interborough is available from Riptide Publishing. http://riptidepublishing.com/titles/interborough

About Santino Hassell

Santino was raised by a conservative family, but he was anything but traditional. He grew up to be a smart-mouthed grunge kid, then a transient twentysomething, and eventually transformed into a guy who spends his days and nights writing romance with an edge.

Santino is a dedicated gamer, a former fanfic writer, an ASoIaF mega nerd, a Grindr enthusiast, but most of all he is a writer of LGBT fiction 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.

Connect with Santino:

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Giveaway

To celebrate the release of Interborough, one lucky winner will receive $25 in Riptide Publishing credit! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on October 29, 2016. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!

Be sure to check out Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words review here!