Follow Me Into Darkness:
I love the idea and execution of this anthology--as a Louisiana native and someone who has either lived in or near New Orleans, I know the draw of Mardi Gras and I was super curious to see how each short story would take on the spirit of Carnival. I'm happy to say that I was never once disappointed. Each short story had an air of mystery, romance, and embraced the general chaos and celebration that Carnival season takes on. I also loved that from reading this anthology, I found writers I'd never read before and will now be look for their full length novels.
"Hurricane" --Santino Hassell, I knew you knew all about NYC but the accuracy you had when portraying NOLA was absolutely spot on. HOW?! And I loved the tenderness you embued in your characters.
"If We Can Be Friends"-- J.C. Lillis--As an English teacher, I loved that you wove Shakespeare into this short story; I would've never in a million years thought to approach carnival the way you did.
"Masked"-- J.R. Gray--Your beginning sucked me in and kinda broke me and yet I so appreciated what you shared through your characters and I loved how you ended it.
"The Queen's Reflection"-- Kris Ripper--it was magical and mysterious and stealthy and sexy and I'd love to see this developed into a full length novel--please tell me you're doing this?!
"Touched"--Roan Parrish--I've been dying to read something by you to see how you'd treat New Orleans. I could feel the soul of our city oozing through the pores on the pages and I liked how you took us into the past in your novel.
Consider me a new fan of all of these writers--if you've been wanting to try any of these authors out, grab this fantastic anthology and plan on falling in love with it.
Follow Me Into Darkness:
Five of the top voices in queer romance teamed up last year to give you Follow Me Into Darkness: Five Tales of Carnivale Romance. Their stories were bold, they were decadent, they were achingly sinful. They begged you to remove your masks just once and many of you listened. Their stories looked into the heart of modern day New Orleans and its steamy past, followed an errant queen in disguise, walked through the lush streets of Rio, and then continued straight on into the lofty pages of a Shakespearean soliloquy
Mardi Gras is coming fast and Follow Me Into Darkness is back to seduce you. It’s on sale for only 99 cents from 2/26 - 3/5 plus the authors are giving you gifts and treats along the way!
For one week only, romance writers Santino Hassell, J.R. Gray, J.C. Lillis, Roan Parrish, and Kris Ripper dare you to take off your masks again...but are you ready for what might happen if you do?
About the Book:
Carnivale is a time for decadence, for revelry, and for mischief. A time when we shed the figurative masks we wear in everyday life in favor of new ones… ones that allow us to be a little bolder, a little more adventurous, and perhaps a little truer to ourselves. Follow Me Into Darkness is a compilation of original tales of queer romance by five of the premier authors of contemporary romance.
Hurricane by Santino Hassell
Interesting things never happened to Zay. He was the wallflower everyone forgot about as soon as the booze began to flow, and Mardi Gras had never been an exception. But after a chance encounter with a devil-may-care grifter, this year's celebration brings adventure and whirlwind romance.
If We Be Friends by J.C. Lillis
Seventeen-year-old Ven should be flying high—he's playing the title role in a new TV drama about Hamlet's teen years, and tonight they're having a Mardi Gras cast party in a possibly-haunted castle. But Ven's lost all his mirth since his boyfriend suggested they "take a break," so he plans to skip the bash and brood in his trailer all night. Then the exasperating guy who plays Horatio challenges him to a Shakespearean soliloquy-off, and Ven knows his actorly honor is at stake. He says yes to the duel, trudges off to the the party to meet his fate--and finds that more awaits him onstage than a battle of wits and words.
Masked by J.R. Gray
Blistering heat and half-naked masked men as far as the eye can see, but Heath runs into the one face it’s taken him fifteen years to forget. Javier is plagued with a life of regret, but when a second chance confronts him, can he let go of his hang-ups and seize the moment?
The Queen’s Reflection by Kris Ripper
Isah plays the role everyone expects: malleable and cautious, a true queen. But what others see as a queen’s appropriate modesty is really just a disguise for what Isah has never told anyone, the thing no one can ever know.
This body, dressed in the queen’s gowns, is a lie.
Once a year, at carnival, Isah dons someone else’s clothes and becomes them for a night. A young cook in stained whites, or a stableboy in worn breeches. As long as no one gets too close the pretense holds.
Until two strangers look past all the characters and Isah finally exposes the person behind the mask.
Touched by Roan Parrish
Sometimes when he touches people Philippe Rondeau sees their future. It’s erratic and inconvenient, but mostly he’s learned to deal with it. Sure he hasn’t found true love yet, but he has friends and lovers, and is kept busy running his family’s jazz club in Prohibition-era New Orleans. But now it’s Mardi Gras and all bets are off. In the space of one night, Philippe falls under the spell of jazz musician Claude and learns a terrible secret about his powers. If Philippe is certain of anything it’s that the future can be tricky, but the chance at love makes it all seem worthwhile.
Giveaway: a Rafflecopter giveaway
Giveaway starts 12 am on 2/26/17 and ends at 12 am on 3/6/17. Giveaway prizes: 1 of 3 (three) $5 Amazon Gift Cards and 1 of 2 (two) e-copies of a backlist book by one of the Follow Me Into Darkness authors. 5 chances to win!
Publisher Page: http://openinkpress.com/product/follow-me-into-darkness/
BN, Apple, Kobo, Scribd, etc: https://books2read.com/u/4jnql4