Guest Post and Giveaway: Concourse by Santino Hassell

Today I am so pleased to welcome Santino Hassell to Joyfully Jay. Santino has come to talk to us about his latest release, Concourse. He has also brought along a great giveaway. Please join me in giving Santino a big welcome!

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Being Friends with a Celebrity – An Interview with Ashton Townsend’s Circle

Since entering the scene as a beautiful androgynous boy from one of the wealthiest families in the city, the gossip and society sections of papers have been fixated on Ashton Townsend. He was thrust into the modeling world at a young age only to abruptly leave it at the height of his career.

After a tumultuous young adulthood and a couple of years of hard partying that culminated with a now infamous sex tape, Ashton has owned his missteps, flipped off the slut shaming judgement of the world, and has made his reputation his brand. But who is the real Ashton Townsend? Today, we sit down with a mix of his close friends to get some insight.

Q: How did you first meet Ashton Townsend, and what was your first impression?

Meredith: We first met as children at the Lycée Français de New York, which… is basically the French High School of New York. Yes, I know how pretentious it sounds, but do you know who our parents are? Anyway, it’s a pre-K through twelfth grade school, and we went together until he started modeling. My first impression of him was that he was painfully shy. That changed fast as we got older.

Charles: I met him at the launch party of my friend’s queer dating app. My first impression was that I’d never seen someone so rich up close and that I should steal his watch, but we made friends instead. *shrug* Just saying. That’s how my mind works.

Caleb: Um, I met him at a sex club. Sorry, I don’t feel comfortable saying more…

Q: How would you describe Ashton Townsend?

Meredith: Underestimated and unappreciated. Everyone thinks he’s this blond bimbo without acknowledging the career he has made from the circus the media made of his life.

Charles: A bad bitch. Have you seen his Instagram? He has don’t-give-a-fuck hotness down to a science.

Caleb: He has a sweetness you don’t see until he drops his guard. He’s also surprisingly naïve for someone so intelligent.

Q:  Have you watched the sex tape?

Meredith: Um. No. It was filmed and shared without his consent so anyone who willfully watches it is taking part in the violation of his privacy.

Charles: No. Have you? *stares*

Caleb: He has a sex tape?

Q: What do you think of how the media portrays Ashton?

Meredith: Slut shaming and objectification at its worst. They act like he isn’t a real person and analyze everything he says or does to make it fit this absurd… mold they already created for him.

Charles: It sucks because they don’t give a shit about the real him, but he’s making serious cash with club appearances. My broke ass would trade in a hot minute. I work three jobs on the regular, so…

Caleb: It’s created these two parts of him. Ashton, the sweet boy who wants to go on adventures and experience everything. And A-Town, the party boy who exists to entertain others.

Q: Where do you see Ashton Townsend in 5 years?

Meredith: Most likely doing activism. He’s a low-key philanthropist.

Charles: With a reality show and his own fashion line.

Caleb: Hopefully with someone he loves. Someone who appreciates him. For all that the media makes him out to be the height of glamour and a good time, his life looks so lonely. I hope he finds his happily ever after the way I did.


ConcourseAshton Townsend is the most famous celebutante of Manhattan’s glitterati. The black sheep of his wealthy family, he’s known for his club appearances, Instagram account, and sex tape. Most people can’t imagine him wanting for anything, but Ashton yearns for friendship, respect, and the love of his best friend—amateur boxer Valdrin Leka.

Val’s relationship with Ashton is complicated. As the son of Ashton’s beloved nanny, Val has always bounced between resenting Ashton and regarding him as his best friend. And then there’s the sexual attraction between them that Val tries so hard to ignore.

When Ashton flees his glitzy lifestyle, he finds refuge with Val in the Bronx. Between Val’s training for an upcoming fight and dodging paparazzi, they succumb to their need for each other. But before they can figure out what it all means—and what they want to do about it—the world drags them out of their haven, revealing a secret Val has kept for years. Now, Ashton has to decide whether to once again envelop himself in his party-boy persona, or to trust in the only man who’s ever seen the real him.


Santino was raised by a conservative family, but he was anything but traditional. He grew up to be a smart-mouthed grunge kid, then a transient twentysomething, and eventually transformed into a guy who spends his days and nights writing romance with an edge.

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 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.

Connect with Santino:


To celebrate the release of Concourse, one lucky winner will receive a $25 Riptide credit! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on May 6, 2017. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!

  • By entering the giveaway, you’re confirming that you are at least 18 years old.
  • Winners will be selected by random number. No purchase necessary to win.  The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning.
  • If you win, you must respond to my email within 48 hours or another winner may be chosen. Please make sure that your spam filter allows email from Joyfully Jay.
  • Winners may be announced on the blog following the contest. By entering the contest you are agreeing to allow your name to be posted and promoted as the contest winner by Joyfully Jay.
  • Prizes will be distributed following the giveaway either by Joyfully Jay or the person/organization donating the prize.
  • All book prizes are in electronic format unless otherwise specified.
  • By entering you are agreeing to hold Joyfully Jay harmless if the prize or giveaway in some way negatively impacts the winner.
  • Readers may only enter once for each contest.  Duplicate entries for the same giveaway will be ignored. In the event of technical problems with the blog during the contest, every effort will be made to extend the contest deadline to allow for additional entries.
  • Void where prohibited by law.


  1. Great “interview!” although I don’t ?actually see Ashton’s friends speak about him publicly like that. But it was cool to see their personalities and perspectives!

  2. Cyntia says:

    That was so interesting, now i want to read this book :-)

  3. SandyCo says:

    Nice interview! I just read this book, and it made me both cry and laugh. :)

  4. I already have this book. I’m looking forward to it. I have enjoyed all the others in the series.
    kimandpete123 at gmail dot com

  5. I love this interview! If anything, it’s gotten more interested in reading Ashton and Val’s story. :)

    Lucifugefive (at) gmail (dot) com

  6. Great Interview!
    Already loving Charles.

  7. Thomas B. says:

    Exceptional series, looking forward to reading this one as well.

  8. Joanna Mueller says:

    Thanks for the chance!!!!

  9. Thanks, this looks fantastic! I’ve enjoyed the other books in the series, but this one looks to be a stand-out.

  10. natalie says:

    awesome interview! i loved ashton and val lots.

  11. I already finished Concourse and it was wonderful! I can’t wait for the next books.

  12. Wheee! My contact info is given in the “E-mail*” box.

  13. Such a great series. Thanks for the post.

  14. Great “interview”, started reading it today! Thanks for the chance!

  15. Rachel C. says:

    This was a fantastic interview!! I loved it!

  16. wonderful! meredith has grown on me so much in concourse! loved it!

  17. Brenda Watts says:

    Love this series, can’t wait to read Concourse.

  18. Sandy Athey says:

    My favorite kind of blog posts – character interviews!!! And I loved Caleb mention his HEA:) Can’t wait to start this tonight

  19. Ashton does sound like an intriguing soul!


  20. Denise Dechene says:

    Love interviews with characters from books. Book sounds good. On my wish list

  21. Kareni says:

    Thanks for an enjoyable interview. Congratulations, Santino, on your new release and best wishes for your next project.

  22. flutterfli says:

    I love Santino’s books, this series being my favorite. Can’t wait to pick this up.

  23. I love love anything and everything Santino!

  24. DebraG says:

    Great interview. I wold love to read the whole story.

  25. Lennis says:

    Thank you for the opportunity. I’m a fan of this author and I’m sure this will be another great book. 

  26. Really enjoyed the series. Can’t wait to read this one!

  27. Thanks for the interview. I’m reading Concourse right now. Love these guys and this series. :)

  28. Allison says:

    It was wonderful to see his friends supporting him like this. ??


  29. Congrats on the new book release! Thank you for the interview with Ashton’s circle =)
    humhumbum AT yahoo DOT com

  30. Kimberly Curington says:

    It was interesting to glimpse Ashton through the others eyes! kimcurington(at)yahoo(dot)com

  31. Thanks for the interview! violet817(at)aol(dot)com

  32. Purple Reader says:

    Congrats and thanks for the creative Q&A with the circle. The series has been good so far, and this sounds like a great addition. I enjoy Hassell’s raw, real characters and the urban setting he puts them in. –
    TheWrote [at] aol [dot] com

  33. Sandra says:

    Love how Santino comes up with interviews like this. It portrays EXACTLY how these people would respond when asked. Love it! (at) gmail (dot) com 

  34. susana says:

    Thank you for the interview. I love all the characters in this series

  35. Santino gives amazing interviews…which ties into her great novels!

  36. Thanks for the interview!

  37. Lindsay says:

    Caleb <3 I loved reading this…can't wait to start Concourse after my reread of the rest of the series!! My email is :)

  38. BungalowBarbara says:

    Love this series! 

  39. Kimberly says:

    Love me some freshly printed Santino Hassell! izkimberly at the big g email server almost everyone uses. 😉

  40. I’m excited to read this book. I’m so in love with this series and Santino Hassell’s writing. On book 4 now.

  41. Loved this interview, especially Caleb’s answers. I can’t wait to read Ashton’s book!

  42. Calila says:

    Nice interview!! I can’t wait to read this book. Thanks for the chance to win!

    calila1988 at yahoo dot com

  43. Nicki S says:

    I love these types of blog posts and always try to follow any Santino Hassell blog tour that I can. I absolutely adored Insight, can’t wait to finish the Community trilogy, and am collecting the 5 Boroughs books before starting the series, because I can’t stand waiting for the next book, lol. I may even read my first sports romance when Santino’s The Barons comes out. Thanks for the post and giveaway.

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