Friday Favourites #1: Santino Hassell


Welcome to Friday Favourites, a new feature on my blog where you have a chance to learn more about my favoruite authors in blitz interview and see what their favourite books are.

We starting off with Santino Hassell, writer of M/M romance and gay fiction, co-author of the popular dystopian M/M series In the Company of Shadows, available for free at 

Friday Favourites

1. Favourite place

My favorite place... This is a tough one. It's really a tie between Rome and Key West which seems really damn random, but I'm basing it on my emotional response to traveling instead of just thinking a place is cool. Rome is steeped in so much history that my inner history teacher goes a little insane. Just being in a place that has so many remnants of the distant past is amazing to me. I know people who live there are totally over it, but I'm the type of person who gets chills from walking through streets that used to be full of chariots and seeing the small Madonna portraits every time I turn onto a new street. 
As for Key West... Well, Key West just feels like home to me. It's where I want to end up. It's such a laid back city that is full of easy going people that you can't help but relax there. It also has a really large queer community. You can't beat that.

2. Favourite food and drink

PASTA. All of the pasta. And wine. I'd do a lot of profane things to get my hands on a good bottle of Bordeaux right now.

3. Favourite music/genre/artist/song

This is tough. My taste in music is pretty eclectic. I love hip hop (especially 90s-early 2000s), but I also regularly listen to classic rock, grunge, dubstep, trip hop, etcetera. If I had to go based on recent listening habits, I'm all about the New York based rapper El-P right now, and his song "Works Every Time" is one of my favorites. I like El-P because he is a sardonic bastard and his rhymes are brilliant. 

4. Favourite movie/TV series

Favorite movie is a tie between The Godfather pt 1 and The Empire Strikes Back. Can you tell I have issues making decisions? Favorite show is a little easier. I'd go with The Walking Dead. The character development over the course of the seasons is unreal. It's more of a show about human nature than zombies.

5. Favourite hobby (besides writing, if you consider writing a hobby)

Besides screenshotting the weird stuff people say to me on Grindr? ;) I'd say reading. Definitely reading.

Favourite books - (Listed in no particular order and a mash of different genres)

A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin. The first book in the A Song of Ice and Fire series. Not the show. If you haven't picked it up and watch the show, give it a shot. It's my favorite fantasy book of all time. 

The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss. Another fantasy novel, and one that is way different than Game of Thrones. It's told almost bard-style, and explores how legends are born of random events by regular men. Not that there's anything average about the MC. It's not perfect, but it's a brilliant and engaging read. Very unique.

Meatworks by Jordan Castillo Price. A, in my opinion, flawless novel about very flawed people. Gay men who are gritty and real. They reminded me of who I used to be, who I still am sometimes, and a lot of people I know. People who don't often have their stories told.

Night Watch by Sergei Lukyanenko. Spec fic and paranormal. It was rec'd to me by an old friend who said "It's about a guy who is in charge of keeping the balance between the light and dark forces of the supernatural world in Moscow. But he's a real fuck up. He reminds me of you!"

Return on Investment by Aleksandr Voinov. Brilliant gay romance and financial thriller. There needs to be more like it.

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Author Bio and Links

Santino Hassell is a dedicated gamer, a former fanfic writer, an ASoIaF mega nerd, and a Grindr enthusiast. 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.

Amazon / Twitter / Facebook / Instagram / Website

Santino's first solo novel was the dystopian romance After Midnight, available at 

His second novel, Sutphin Boulevard, will be published by Dreamspinner Press on July 31, 2015. 


Michael Rodriguez and Nunzio Medici have been friends for two decades. From escaping their dysfunctional families in the working-class neighborhood of South Jamaica, Queens to teaching in one of the city’s most queer friendly schools in Brooklyn, the two men have shared everything. Or so they thought until a sweltering night of dancing leads to an unexpected encounter that forever changes their friendship.

Now, casual touches and lingering looks are packed with sexual tension, and Michael can’t forget the feel of his best friend’s hands on him. Once problems rear up at work and home, Michael finds himself seeking constant escape in the effortless intimacy and mind-blowing sex he has with Nunzio. But things don’t stay easy for long.

When Michael’s world begins to crumble in a sea of tragedy and complications, he knows he has to make a choice: find solace in a path of self-destruction or accept the love of the man who has been by his side for twenty years.

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Look forward to Ais, co-author of ICoS series, sharing her favourites next week in Friday Favourites.

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