About Santino Hassell

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.

Newly Covered

By |December 27th, 2015|

So, there’s a new cover in town and it’s for my standalone novel AFTER MIDNIGHT.

I anticipate some people being disappointed to see the old cover go, but it wasn’t something I could avoid doing. The good news is: I love the new cover.

It’s edgy, it’s sexy, and Gordon Frost is finally getting some ginger love. I’m currently in the process of uploading it, and an updated mobi file, to Amazon, but it’s already up on Goodreads. Hope you guys like it! A new paperback version is coming soon.Ashley Kaye Hayes did an awesome job. 😀

Two decades after war ravaged the nation, one of the last remaining metropolises thrives on a currency of sex, drugs, and lies.

Gordon Frost is a survivor. He outlived all of his friends after bombs decimated the hardscrabble neighborhood he grew up in, and he made it through the orphanages and crime-ridden slums that followed. With few prospects for the future, Gordon carved out a niche for himself in the expanding drug trade of Lexington, PA. It’s not pretty, but it’s his, and it beats the skin trade he was involved with before. But a classic case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time results in a brush with death, going by the name of Adam. Afterward, the life that once seemed good enough isn’t quite the same.

Adam Blake is an assassin on the brink of being terminated by the very organization that controls him. He completed his mission, but not without being seen. With his secrets in danger of being exposed by Gordon, Adam knows he should kill the smart-mouthed redhead, but finds himself intrigued by the troublesome civilian instead.

When Gordon’s knack for finding trouble combines with the dangerous consequences of Adam’s indecision, their worlds intertwine in an explosive way.


Get Hasselled for the Holidays – Huge Sales and a Release

By |December 9th, 2015|

Soo, I haven’t blogged in forever BUT I can’t avoid it now. There’s too much stuff to inform readers about.

First of all–SUNSET PARK releases on FRIDAY. Whoa, where did the time go? And it’s also 25% off at the Dreamspinner website until the end of the week! It’s also up for preorder on Amazon.SunsetParkFS

Secondly, EVERY other book I have written is also on sale. Good timing for the holidays.

SUTPHIN BOULEVARD will be $0.99 until the end of December on Dreamspinner and Amazon.

SutphinBoulevard- FINAL SMALL

AFTER MIDNIGHT will also be $0.99 for one more day on Amazon, before it will go up slowly for the next couple of days.


And STYGIAN is also 25% off because of Dreamspinner’s holiday sale.

Stygian - Ebook Small

Freebies, Sales, and QRM

By |October 31st, 2015|

A lot has been going on in the past couple of weeks in terms of my RL (death in the family, another family member in the hospital) and my job, so I somehow neglected to update my own blog after STYGIAN’s release. -_- I’m rectifying that now with a roundup of book sales, free reads, and my Queer Romance post.


Stygian - Ebook Small

STYGIAN, my gothic paranormal romance, released on Tuesday. If you haven’t already purchased it, now would be a good time because it’s 60% off at Dreamspinner and there’s a 50% rebate at All Romance ebooks. You can also purchase it on Amazon and the other third party websites! A couple of people have asked me why I wanted my new release to be included in a big-ass sale and the short answer to that is: because books are fucking expensive.

If you want a taste of STYGIAN before actually diving into the full novel, I’ve also written a series of free shorts for your reading pleasure.

Feeling You
A Night in the Life

These take place before the novel and feature lots of UST between Jeremy and Kennedy.

Follow-ups (contains all the spoilers):
Finding You
Take You Farther (part of the free LEAD ME INTO DARKNESS anthology)

The stories are full of sexual tension, longing, and intense rockers. Enjoy. 🙂

Other news:

My Queer Romance post will be up today and it kind of means a lot to me, so I hope you all check it out. I worked with Ashley Kaye Hayes to come up with our response to the recent conversations relating to diversity, and lack thereof in romance, and we did so in the form of a short webcomic. Let me know what you think. Here’s the first panel:


Want a sexy Halloween story? I got you right now.

By |October 30th, 2015|

small coverA couple of months ago I was invited to participate in a free Halloween anthology with some pretty awesome people.

JC Lillis, Roan Parrish, Kris Ripper, and JR Gray. Did I have time to be writing another thing? No. Am I around enough to sufficiently plan with people and coordinate another thing? Hell no. But somehow it came together wonderfully and largely without my help.  The end result is LEAD ME INTO DARKNESS.

LEAD ME INTO DARKNESS is a free collection of stories that are, in some form, centered around Halloween, the paranormal, and graveyards. My story–Take You Farther–is in a metaphorical boneyard and is a follow-up to my new release STYGIAN (which is on sale for $3 *coughpromocough*), but the others are set in cemeteries with varying heat and spookiness levels, and I recommend them all! There’s also a bomb-ass giveaway attached to this post, and you know you want to check it out.


Take You Farther by Santino Hassell

Brian Watts’ boyfriend is a newly turned vampire, and he’s shouldering the blame. Watts would do anything–including offering up a vein, stripping for cash, and demanding answers from other creatures of the night–to redeem himself and save the man he loves.

Memory Hill by J.C. Lillis

Billy Hartigan’s been dead for ten years, and it’s really pissing him off. Stuck in Memory Hill Cemetery due to “unfinished business,” he fritters away the long days playing monster movies in his head, reliving the glory days of his indie band, and mourning his missed chance at love with his best friend. Then one Halloween he gets a visit from troubled teen geek Todd Racklin, the last living fan of Billy’s old band. Todd needs some beyond-the-grave help from his idol–and his visits might hold the key to Billy’s release from Memory Hill.

Grave Circumstances by J.R. Gray

Secret agendas collide with guns, ghosts and confusing erections, on a tour through a haunted graveyard. Jesse’s been carrying a secret and needs a night alone with George. But George has his own agenda, leading Jesse into darkness, the fright of his life, and a blinding release he won’t soon forget.

Boyfriends in the Boneyard by Kris Ripper

In a perfect world, Truman Jennings would be spending Halloween with both his husband and his boyfriend; alas, in this one he’s on a ghost tour with his husband, and his boyfriend is probably watching scary movies and eating pizza rolls.

The cemetery is appropriately creepy, their tour guide weaves a good yarn, and Hugh’s in a very odd (but utterly delightful) mood. When Hugh leads him away from the group Truman doesn’t know what to think, but considering his husband’s filthy, kinky mind, he’s more than willing to find out.

As usual, Hugh has both tricks and treats up his sleeve.

Mayfair by Roan Parrish

Jocelyn has been secretly in love with her best friend Bethany for a year. And it’s hell. But there are other things—dark, creeping, illusory things—that are tormenting Jocelyn even more. They’ve been appearing more and more lately and Jocelyn is starting to doubt her sanity. But a Devil’s Night ritual in a Detroit cemetery may reveal more than she ever imagined…

You can download LEAD ME INTO DARKNESS for free here:

All Romance Ebooks    |    Kobo    |    Barnes and Noble/Nook    |    Apple/iTunes    |    Oyster    |    Page Foundry/Inktera    |    Scribd

5 people can also win 1 of the following LEAD ME INTO DARKNESS prize packs:

1. Signed copy of JC Lillis’ How to Repair a Mechanical Heart + LMID Tee + NOLA swag
2. Signed copy of J.R. Gray’s Legally Bound + LMID Tee + NOLA swag
3. Paperback of Roan Parrish’s In the Middle of Somewhere + LMID Tee + NOLA Swag
4. Paperback of Santino Hassell’s Stygian + LMID Tee + NOLA Swag
5. Set of 5 Ebooks by Kris Ripper including Catalysts, Unexpected Gifts, Take Three Breaths, Breaking Down, and Roller Coasters + LMID Tee + NOLA Swag


When Stock Photos Aren’t Enough

By |October 2nd, 2015|

I kind of have a thing about book-related art.

Whether it’s cover art, photographs, or teaser graphics, I’m really enthusiastic about it. And there’s something about fanart in particular that gives me the tingles.

Maybe it’s because I’m from fandom culture. Maybe it’s because I’m grateful and awed by the amount of fanart IN THE COMPANY OF SHADOWS has accrued over the years, but I know for a fact it’s also because I’m touched by the idea of someone loving a character enough to pour their own time and creativity into a painting or drawing. I also enjoy seeing reader interpretation of my characters. No matter how I describe a character, they will always look different in a reader’s mind. And there are times when stock art, or a picture of Jason Muirbrook (my inspiration for Hsin Liu Vega in ICoS), just isn’t enough.

While brainstorming teaser graphics and art for STYGIAN promotion, this feeling of stock photo inadequacy really hit me. I could find only a handful of images that looked right. Everything else was stretching it to the point of completely misrepresenting my own book.

These are the graphics (made my Megan Erikson!) that worked, but finding these two gems was difficult.










I also made some non-people teasers:


Part of my challenge is that the characters in STYGIAN are … different. Kennedy is a hunky, stoic guitarist who is covered in tats, but he’s also broody and worried and constantly on the edge because he is the caretaker of his band of misfits. And Jeremy is slight with pale blond hair and gray eyes, but he has also been through a lot and he wears his past like a shroud.

It probably wouldn’t have been impossible to find stock models with the correct physical characteristics for J and K, but the mood of most stock photos is almost always all wrong. And mood is paramount in a southern gothic romance.

So, I started thinking about the artists of Tumblr and Deviantart. The wonderful magical people who can create beautiful things from scratch (and my vague, unhelpful, and usually rambly descriptions), and decided to go the route of commissioning art. This is the result so far (CD cover by odderly and Jere/Kennedy embrace & the band line-up by melanofly):


painting teaser


Can I take a minute to praise the hell outta melanofly and odderly? Like for real. I’m awed by how gorgeous these came out. I hope you guys give them some follows and likes and favorites on their tumblrs to show support! And I hope you enjoy STYGIAN when it comes out on October 26.

You can pre-order STYGIAN now at Dreamspinner Press and add it to your shelves on Goodreads.

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 drum
s. 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 Caroway’s secrets into the light that Jeremy realizes belonging sometimes comes with a price.