The M/M Newlywed Game Part II – Sunset Park by Santino Hassell

Thank you for watching Episode 2 of The M/M Newlywed Game with Raymond Rodriguez and David Butler. You can find Episode 1—David’s answers about Raymond—at Santino’s blog tour stop at The Novel Approach on December 11th!

Just a reminder, the purpose of The Newlywed Game is to see how well newlyweds, or newlyfriended as David claims, know each other. Today, I’ll be asking Raymond questions about David to see how well he knows his new BFF. They need fifty points total to win. Last week David got one wrong, which put him at twenty two and a half points. Let’s see if Ray can do better.

Raymond: Oh, I know I’ll do better.

David: That’s because you’re full of crap. You take way longer to get ready than I do. I still maintain I should get full credit for my realistic response. There’s no way a guy with hair that long gets ready faster than me. And I know you maintain it because it’s shiny and silky as fuck. My hair doesn’t look that good and I actually try.

Raymond: Cry more, blondie.

Host: You two are so cute together.

Raymond: Whatever.

Host: Okay Mr. Cheerful, let’s get started. Question 1—What’s David’s favorite comfort food? 

Raymond: *side eyes David* Pasta. Any kind of pasta. When he isn’t on his no-carb crap.

David: *flips card that says ‘All of the pasta!!! Especially with seafood and lots of butter and garlic.’*

Host: Good start. How about his favorite comfort movie?

Raymond: A comfort movie? What the hell is that? I’m just going to say Lost in Translation because he thinks he can relate to some people having an existential crisis in Japan. Either that or something Disney-related like Mulan.

David: *laughs and holds up a sign that says ‘Disney movies!’*

Raymond: See? Dork.

David: But you watch it with me, soooo….

Raymond: If I don’t, you’ll get pouty.

Host: Who is David’s favorite singer?

Raymond: Adele.

David: *holds up sign that says ‘Adele is my spirit human’* That was super easy, though.

Host: What about his favorite designer? 

Raymond: *sighs* Why I gotta get these wack questions? You didn’t ask him that.

Host: The question can’t all be the same.

Raymond: Whatever. Cole Haan. And I only know that shit because he dragged me out shopping and kept asking my opinion on billions of shoes designed by this Cole person.

David: *hiding a smile, he holds up a sign that says ‘The only designer I consistently purchase is Cole Haan. Other than that, I just go to Express or Urban Outfitters. Shoes make the outfit, tbh.’*

Raymond: Leave it to you to write this long-ass explanation.

David: Well, it’s true!

Host: Question 5—what’s one thing you consistently do when you’re spending time together that David really appreciates? 

Raymond: I dunno. I tend to feed him a lot but he always starts whining about carbs, so I can’t tell if he likes it.

David: Of course I like it. You’re trying to take care of me even though it may result in me having to go to the gym an extra day. *holds up sign that says ‘Raymond is a really good cook, and he always makes me something to eat without making a big deal of it. He will make someone an amazing husband one day ;)*

Raymond: So extra.

Host: If I asked David what his most embarrassing moment was that you witnessed, what would he say? 

Raymond: The Nicki Minaj thing.

David: UGH. *holds up sign that says ‘Anaconda work out’*

Raymond: Hahahahaaaaa.

Host: Wait, I want to hear this story. Tell us!

Raymond: One day I dropped by David’s apartment without calling ahead of time, and walked in on him twerking in his underwear to that song Anaconda.

David: It was part of this cardio workout! Jesus.

Raymond: It was amazing.

Host: I bet. *smirks* So, you have a key to David’s apartment?

Raymond: He gave it to me.

David: I had a spare!

Raymond: I didn’t ask for it.

David: Well I’ll take it back if you don’t want it. *rolls eyes*

Raymond: Nope. It’s mine now.

Host: Heh heh. Okay, let’s move on. Raymond, what would David say stresses him out the most? 

Raymond: Probably his job. David’s a control freak, so him being a teacher is basically a set up for complete disaster. He can’t predict or control most of the shit that happens at school, and he is the highest strung person in the world because of it. When he’s on vacation though, he’s like a totally different dude.

David: High strung and a control freak? Geez, tell me how you really feel. *flips card that reads ‘Everything work-related. Especially standardized testing. OMG Kill me now.’*

Raymond: *pokes David in the side*

Host: Next question—What does David look for in a guy? 

Raymond: If I judge by the last asshole he dated—

David: Don’t say that! He might see this.

Raymond: Yeah, and? He ain’t gonna do shit. *crosses arms over chest* Anyway, if I judge by the last dickhead he dated, I’d figure he likes dudes with money and bomb-ass jobs.

David: I can’t believe that’s your answer! That’s seriously your answer?

Host: He can’t change it now that you’ve made it obvious it’s not the answer.

David: *scowls and flips card* I said I’m looking for a guy who isn’t afraid to be sweet to me, and who listens instead of just waiting for his turn to speak. I can’t believe you fucked this up.

Raymond: You fucked it up by being fake as hell in that answer. Your ex was a legit billionaire heir.

David: That’s not why I dated him, for God’s sake. I am so annoyed now. You made us lose because you think I’m a gold digger.

Raymond: Great now he’ll sulk. *watches David pout* *frowns* Jesus, I’m sorry.

David: Hmph. *doesn’t resist when Raymond forces him into a side-hug* *fights a smile*

Host: Aw. You two. Okay, last question! Raymond—what’s one thing David wants to change about your relationship?

 Raymond: Probably… wants us to meet each other’s friends. Which is stupid, FYI. I don’t see why we have to involve other annoying people when I only want to spend time with him.

Host: *raises eyebrow*

Raymond: What? It’s true.

David: *flips card that says ‘Be more involved in each other’s lives. I’ve never even met his friends! And I only get to come over when Michael isn’t home L.’* I find it really off-putting and hurtful, but he’s never explained it like that before so I’m finding it hard to be mad.

Raymond: Look, it’s not a big deal. You just happen to momentarily be the person who irritates me the least.

David: You love me. Just admit it. You love me and you don’t want anyone to know because—

Raymond: Stop right there before you say something to annoy me and I have to retract the nice thing I said.

David: No! I like it when you’re sweet to me. *plasters himself to Raymond*

Host: Are you sure you’re not together?

Raymond: No.

Host: You’re not sure?

Raymond: We’re not together!

Host: Well, maybe you should consider it.

David: Oh?

Host: Yes. You’d get to know each other better and wouldn’t have lost! Sorry, kids. Better luck next time.

Raymond: What a fucking scam. We literally had to get nothing wrong in order to win. Your show sucks.

David: That is so lame.

Host: Stay tuned for the next round of The M/M Newlyweds Game!

 SunsetParkFS

SUNSET PARK blurb:

Sunset Park

A Five Boroughs Story

Raymond Rodriguez’s days of shoving responsibility to the wayside are over. His older brother wants to live with his boyfriend, so Raymond has to get his act together and find a place of his own. But when out-and-proud David Butler offers to be his roommate, Raymond agrees for reasons other than needing a place to crash.

David is Raymond’s opposite in almost every way—he’s Connecticut prim and proper while Raymond is a sarcastic longshoreman from Queens—but their friendship is solid. Their closeness surprises everyone as does their not-so-playful flirtation, since Raymond has always kept his bicurious side a secret.

Once they’re under the same roof, flirting turns physical, and soon their easy camaraderie is in danger of being lost to frustrating sexual tension and the stark cultural differences that set them apart. Now Raymond not only has to commit to his new independence—he has to commit to his feelings for David or risk losing him for good.

ISBN-13         978-1-62380-749-8

Cover Artist    Paul Richmond

Cover Model   Juan Forgia

Cover Photo Credit     Mel Seser Photography

Find Sunset Park on:

Dreamspinner Press: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=7159

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Sunset-Park-Boroughs-Santino-Hassell-ebook/dp/B018ZLJWKE/

Barnes and Noble: http://bit.ly/1LyvRfi

All Romance ebooks: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-sunsetpark-1936942-149.html

Review Quotes for the Five Boroughs series

SUNSET PARK: 

“While this second novel of Hassell’s Five Boroughs novels has all the heat, overwhelming desire and tension that readers have come to expect, he also grounds his tale in very real issues, like class and ethnic divides, social struggles, and the difficulty of growing up.” – RT Magazine 

SUTPHIN BOULEVARD:

“Having two sexy, dirty-talking alphas wrestle their strong feelings for each other is mouthwatering.” — RT Web Reviews 

“Hassell doesn’t sugarcoat his vibrant characters, making them as gritty as the Queens neighborhood in which they grew up… There are plenty of steamy sex scenes; overall, a welcome addition to romance collections in urban libraries.” — Library Journal

Other books in the Five Boroughs series:

Book 1: SUTPHIN BOULEVARD

Book 3: FIRST AND FIRST coming in April 2016

Other books by Santino Hassell:

STYGIAN

AFTER MIDNIGHT

Author Bio:

Santino is a writer of queer romance 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.

Find Santino:

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Blog Tour, Character Profile, & Giveaway – Signs of Desire by Tempeste O’Riley

When a night out turns into a matchmaking scheme, they thought communication would be their biggest challenge to their happily ever after….

Signs of Desire
by Tempeste O’Riley
Desires Entwined, #4
M/M Erotic Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Reese Dante
Release Date: November 30, 2014 (ebook/print)
Length: Novel / 200 pages

 

Order:

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Description:

Simon Tyler knows his job as a gay romance author makes his lack of faith in love more than a little ironic, but he’s tired of being used for his wallet. When a night out turns into a matchmaking scheme orchestrated by his best friends—though he’s not the target—Simon’s not thrilled, but since he’s sworn off happily-ever-after anyway, he goes along with it… until he meets the object of their efforts, Adrian, and finds perhaps he hasn’t given up on love after all.

Professor Adrian Keys has tried to date hearing men before, but being deaf himself, he’s never had any success at making a connection. After his friends con him into going out and Adrian realizes it’s all an elaborate plan to set him up, he braces for yet another failure, only to discover there is a spark—except it’s not with the man his friends had in mind, but with Simon Tyler instead.

Not all their friends have found a way past their romantic failures, but Simon and Adrian might be on the path to happily-ever-after.

Resource Links:

 

Praise:

 

“I found it a beautiful tale of unhappiness changed to romance and then love with a happy ending.”

—Rainbow Book Reviews, on “Designs of Desire”

Designs of Desire is a tough realistic book that is touched by violence countered by the growing love between the two heroes.”

—Sensual Reads, on “Designs of Desire”

“It’s a great book to fall into and enjoy some really good characters.”

—Love Bytes, on “Desires’ Guardian”

“This is my favorite in this series so far. I love seeing how these characters are growing, all of them. As individuals, as couples, as friends, and as a family.”

—MM Good Book Reviews, on “Desires’ Guardian”

“The writer did an excellent job with the characters, they are likable and perfect. Not perfect in the way that they have no flaws, but in a way that they grab you and complement each other.”

—Love Bytes Reviews, on “Temptations of Desire”

 

Other Works by Author:

Designs of DesireSimple Desires*+ – Bound by Desire* – Desires’ GuardianTemptations of DesireTruth in Lace* – Desires’ Pride*

Micah’s Medicine+ – Caged SanctuaryWhiskers of a Chance

*shorts in series +shorts in anthologies

 

About the Author:

Tempeste O’Riley is an out and proud pansexual genderfluid whose best friend growing up had the courage to do what they couldn’t—defy the hate and come out. He has been their hero ever since.

Tempe is a hopeless romantic who loves strong relationships and happily-ever-afters. Though new to writing M/M, they has done many things in their life, yet writing has always drawn them back—no matter what else life has thrown their way. They counts her friends, family, and Muse as their greatest blessings in life. They lives in Wisconsin with their children, reading, writing, and enjoying life.

Tempe is also a proud PAN member of Romance Writers of America®, WisRWA, and Rainbow Romance Writers. Tempe’s preferred pronouns are they/them/their/theirs/themselves. To learn more about Tempeste and their writing, visit http://tempesteoriley.com.

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Tempeste’s Temptations

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Character Interview, Blog Tour, & Giveaway – Sutphin Boulevard by Santino Hassell

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Hello all! Please welcome Michael Rodriguez from Santino Hassell’s Sutphin Boulevard!

2015 Divider

Interviewer: Hi Michael—or do you prefer Mr. Rodriguez?

Michael: If you call me Mr. Rodriguez I’ll be reminded me of my students, so let’s go with Michael.

Interviewer: Okay! Michael. Are you enjoying your summer so far?

Michael: Yeah. It’s been low key, but I’ll be traveling with my friend Nunzio soon and I’m looking forward to it. It’s been a hard year and he’s been the only person keeping me sane. I moved back to Queens to take care of my mother but she passed away, and  my little brother and I were completely unprepared. We don’t really have to talk about my mom, though. I’d rather not.

Interviewer: I understand completely. So, tell me about yourself?

Michael: I’m thirty-two, I’m Puerto Rican, and I was born and raised in New York City. I work at a high school in Brooklyn but I live in Queens. Up until my mom got sick, I was living in Manhattan which had always been my goal.

Interviewer: Any chance of you moving back?

Michael: Not sure. My salary hasn’t gone up in six years, but rent sure as hell has. Nunzio keeps suggesting I move in with him but that’s an awful idea. It would guarantee that I never have a functional relationship again. Every guy I’ve dated has been jealous of Nunzio. It would be ten times worse if we lived together.

Interviewer: Why are they jealous?

Michael: Have you seen him? He’s gorgeous.

Interviewer: I’m sure it doesn’t help that you also… work together? Is that right?

Michael: Yeah. We both applied to McCleary High School when it opened a few years ago. And we didn’t— *pauses, frowning* Look, we’re not co-dependent. We both liked the model of the school. It’s closely connected to a community center that does a lot of work with queer kids. Since we’re both gay, it appealed to us. The only other school like that in the city is Harvey Milk High School.

Interviewer: Ahhh. I see. Why did you both go into teaching?

Michael: *scowls* I feel like you think we’re really clingy with each other. We’re not. It’s not like that. *crossing his arms over his chest* We both grew up struggling financially and a city job provides security. Nunzio didn’t have role models growing up and he wants to be that for someone who may need it. And I’ve always wanted to teach. I love talking about history, and I love teaching young people to make connections between events so they can see why the world is the way it is. I could geek out about that all day long so I’ll stop there.

Interviewer: I love your passion. So, your childhood had a big impact. Can you tell me more about it?

Michael: Look, I’m not trying to have this be a big sob story. You know? Gay Latino teacher breaks through the barriers and overcomes his childhood struggles, etcetera. No thanks. My father was in and out of our lives, but my mom worked hard to buy us a house and my brother and I always had enough to eat.

Interviewer: How’s your relationship with your brother?

Michael: Raymond is a sixteen year-old boy trapped in the body of a twenty-four-year-old man. He’s smart but barely managed to graduate high school. You have no idea how frustrating it is for me to be a teacher who cannot even motivate his own brother. Nunzio has had more luck than me but all advice goes in one of Raymond’s ears and out the other.

Interviewer: Nunzio seems to be important to you and your family. When did you guys meet?

Michael: About twenty years ago? In junior high. It was the first day of seventh grade and we bonded by exchanging stories about our asshole dads. *smiles* You should have seen him back then. Skinny with all of this wild black hair and these super blue eyes. I’d never seen anyone so fucking pretty. Even now. He’s really something.

Interviewer: Mmhmm. When did you come out to each other as gay?

Michael: Nunzio told me that same year. We were watching this music video with Mary J. Blige and Method Man, and I was pretending to be into Mary J because pretending to like girls was a reflex even at thirteen. Anyway, Nunzio said he’d rather blow Method Man. I was like—whoah! It was really shocking to me because I was terrified of anyone finding out I was gay. I didn’t fess up to him until a while later.

Interviewer: And you never….?

Michael: Nope. We made out once in junior high but it never got any farther. It was weird.

Interviewer: But you’re so cuddly together.

Michael: So? He’s physically affectionate with everyone. I’m not, but I don’t mind him touching me. Just because we’re both gay doesn’t mean we have to be sleeping together. Not all gay guys are insatiable.

Interviewer: I’m so sorry. That’s not what I meant at all. But while we’re on the topic… why don’t you talk more about your past relationships?

Michael: It’s always a failure. Guys either get frustrated because I’m not out to my family or they’re jealous of Nunzio. My ex-boyfriend asked me to choose between them which shows how deluded he was. I would never choose anyone over Nunzio. I’d rather be single for the rest of my life.

Interviewer: Mmhmm.

Michael: Why do you keep saying that?

Interviewer: I’m not.

Michael: Uh huh. Listen, I have a phone call. Can we take five?

Interviewer: Is it Nunzio?

Michael: …

Interviewer: Mmhmm. Take your time.

Michael: *grumbles something inaudible and leaves the room*

© 2015 Santino Hassell.

SutphinBoulevardFS

2015NewAbout the Book

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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Purchase Links

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2015NewAbout the author

SH Author PicSantino 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.