I was counting down the months until the end of my deployment. My days were spent working on military vehicles, and I spent my nights playing video games that would distract me until I could leave Staff Sergeant Garrett Reid behind.
That was when I met him: Kai Bannon, a fellow gamer with a famous stream channel.
I never expected to become fixated on someone who’d initially been a rival. And I’d never expected someone who oozed charm to notice me—a guy known for his brutal honesty and scowl. I hadn’t planned for our online friendship to turn into something that kept me up at night—hours of chatting evolving into filthy webcam sessions.
But it did. And now I can’t stop thinking about him. In my mind, our real life meeting is perfect. We kiss, we fall into bed, and it’s love at first sight.
Except, like most things in my life, it doesn’t go as planned.
Strong Signal is a standalone, full-length novel with no cliffhanger
Contemporary, M/M, GLBT+
235 e-book pages
1st person, dual POV
Cyberlove, book 1
Review and rating removed.
On or about March 9, 2018, the news broke far and wide that the author known as Santino Hassell is a catfish, abusive, predatory, a master manipulator…and the list of sociopathic adjectives could go on from what I’ve gathered.
In the days surrounding, ties with this author were severed with ‘his’ agent and most (if not all) publishers including Riptide, Dreamspinner, Berkley, and…probably others.
I’m not here to write a think piece on the matter, plenty are out there, and I’d just be repeating what’s already been said. Though, I’ll say that it disgusts me to my core that anyone who came into contact with this author — from readers to authors (including co-authors), to those who were barely even in ‘his’ orbit and those who were close friends — are all victims of such a far-reaching deception. It’s monstrous how much damage and harm was caused by such epic deceit and web of lies spanning nearly two decades. I was duped. We were all duped.
It’s not about a pen name. It’s not about gender. It’s not about author privacy. It’s not about author brand. It's a fucking mess of despicable truths stranger than fiction that has left this community I love reeling in the aftermath.
If you need more information here’s a start:
Statement from Riptide: http://riptidepublishing.com/a-statement-on-sh
Twitter Moment outlining the allegations: https://twitter.com/i/moments/970716633017790464
Tumblr post further outlining allegations: https://thesaltminers.tumblr.com/post/171680546960/the-santino-hassell-debacle
Twitter post that’ll blow your fucking mind: https://twitter.com/sweetsakuradoll/status/972031764766994432
Heartbreaking statement from Ais, co-author of the ICoS series: https://twitter.com/aisness/status/976957000708915200
NOTE: Several Twitter handles were also massively important — chiefly Nikki @ease_dropper who worked for over a year to bring this information to light with receipts like you wouldn’t believe while simultaneously dealing with increasing backlash and abuse in those efforts to be heard.
A Twitter search of #SHconfessions will also work as well as the entirety of the Twitter handle @sweetsakuradoll.
Other posts that can be found with a google search of “Santino Hassell” or “Santino Hassell Catfish.”