Prism Book Alliance® would like to thank Santino Hassell for stopping by today.
Author: Santino Hassell
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Damonza
Genre: M/M Romance, Mystery, Paranormal
Jeremy has been isolated and adrift since the death of his brother. Most people just see him as the skinny emo kid who wears eyeliner and plays drums. No one gets him. Nobody tries. He thought the indie rock band Stygian would become his anchor, but—lost in their own problems—they’re far from the family he sought.
Still, hoping to get close to Kennedy, the band’s enigmatic guitarist, he follows Stygian to northern Louisiana for a summer retreat. They had planned to spend six weeks focusing on new music, but things go awry as soon as they arrive at the long-deserted Caroway mansion. Tempers flare, sexual tension boils over into frustration, and Jeremy turns away from the band to find a friend in his eerily beautiful landlord Hunter Caroway.
Kennedy suspects there’s something off about the creepy mansion and its mysterious owners, but Jeremy thinks he’s finally found somewhere he fits. It isn’t until Kennedy forces the Caroways’ secrets into the light that Jeremy realizes belonging sometimes comes with a price.
When writing STYGIAN, some of the themes I wanted to explore were trust and manipulation, and how that can intersect with the supernatural. What would happen if I put a handful of disaffected and emotionally scarred youths in the reach of supernatural creatures? What would provide my heroes the tools to fight against the intense romantic and emotional manipulation of a predator?
The answer proved to be convoluted but still boils down to one thing: love.
The following scene is a critical point for Jeremy, and shows him trying to fight those siren-like whispers in his head as his love interest confronts him.
“If I’m nothing to you, then why are you still standing here?”
Why aren’t you?
Jeremy glanced over his shoulder and immediately felt foolish. The question had only been in his head.
“I don’t… know.” He should be leaving. The door was right behind him. Escape was so close. But with Kennedy hurt and confused, Jeremy forgot why he was supposed to be escaping. “I don’t know what’s happening.”
Kennedy frowned. “What do you mean?”
Jeremy’s mouth was so dry. He swallowed thickly, but it didn’t help.
“You make me so angry. All of you do. It’s why I want to stay away until we can get back to Houston where I can isolate myself in my apartment.”
Kennedy crossed the room in two long strides and was pushing Jeremy against the wall before he could evade.
“You think I’m going to let this drop once we’re in Houston?”
“You always did before.”
“And I told you why.” Kennedy braced his arms on either side of Jeremy’s face. “Every fucking word I said the night of the party still stands, Jeremy.”
He pushed you away.
“Bullshit.” Jeremy kept himself still, but he was painfully aware of the hardness of Kennedy’s torso. The heat of his breath. “The night of the party, you were an asshole an hour after you had my dick in your mouth.”
“Maybe because none of my bandmates will listen to me!” Kennedy’s voice rose to a shout. He flicked a glance at the door before lowering it again. “Do you know how frustrating it is to have none of you fucking trust me when it’s actually about something important?”
“I’ve always trusted you,” Jeremy blurted.
It was the wrong thing to say. He’d sworn to himself, and Hunter, that he wouldn’t make himself vulnerable. That he wouldn’t trust them. But the strength of his feelings for Kennedy rose to the surface and overtook all of those late-night promises. It shot through the dark abyss like an arrow made of sunlight.
“You’re not just this hot tattooed musician who I want to fuck me. You’re—you’re a good person. You care about people. You… used to look out for me when I first started doing gigs with you guys. If you didn’t want me falling for you, you shouldn’t have been so nice to me. It meant something. Don’t you understand? One of the things I hoped for this summer was to get close to you.” As soon as he stopped speaking, Jeremy wanted to crawl in a hole somewhere. “Please, Kennedy. Just let me go.”
“No fucking way.”
Then they were kissing. It happened too fast for Jeremy to pull away, but he didn’t want to. Not when his world had dwarfed to this moment—Kennedy shoving him against the wall, tonguing him hungrily, and moaning once Jeremy kissed back.
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About the Author
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 queer 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.
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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