…we're keeping our name but expanding our offerings!
Today we welcome Damon Suede to talk about the setting of Pent Up…New York City! But first, a GIVEAWAY!
Today’s giveaway is for a paperback, ebook, or audiobook format of any one of Damon Suede’s New York based books! That’s Hot Head, Horn Gate, Bad Idea, or Pent Up! Leave a comment for a chance to win!
New Yorked by Damon Suede
I realized I was a born New Yorker when I was seven years old and living fifteen hundred miles away.
My family had come up from Texas on business and brought me along to do the touristy deal. I saw my first snow. I ate my first proper bagel. I took my first ride in a Central Park hansom. I saw my first musical on Broadway: Sweeney Todd!…for a seven year old because my family is bonkers. I remember feeling like I’d discovered my planet of origin. Everyone spoke as quickly as I did. Everyone had places to go, people to be.
At some point during that first breathless trip, I turned to my mother and said, “I’m gonna live here.” She was horrified. She came up to the city on business all the time, and loved it at a distance, but the idea of wanting to live there made her want to yack. New York in the 70s was filthy, crowded, crime-choked, and literally bankrupt. I didn’t know anything about that: I hit the city like a needle on a record and I knew it was my groove. The whole city throbbed with a hungry, urgent heartbeat and I loved it.
For the next ten years, I worked my ass off to get myself back where I belonged. I busted my ass, visited when I could, and applied to college as soon as they’d let me. In the end, I got into Columbia early, and by the time I was a senior in high school I had my remaining days marked off like a prisoner’s diary. Everything in me strained towards getting myself where I belonged. Living here for the first time turned out to be even better than I expected. Everything in the city conspired to make me love it more. As soon as I had a Manhattan address to call my own, I memorized the subway system, and started to walk the neighborhoods a block at a time in search of the hidden treasure buried all over my island.
Almost forty years since that first visit, I can only say I got it right the first time. I may be from Texas, but I am a born New Yorker.
In the past 30 years I’ve lived all over Manhattan and even parts of Brooklyn. I know who bakes the best carrot cake in Harlem, the fastest footpath through Central Park, and the most gorgeous view of the Hudson River. I know where to get the best chocolate chip cookies in the Tristate area (Monteleone’s) and the best coffee in the United States (D’amico’s). Almost all of my books have been set in New York City because even having spent time living in other places, I still find the City so thrilling, crazy, and romantic. NYC truly is the capitol of the world. Even if you’ve never been to New York, it has changed the stories you read, the songs you hum, the movies you see, the games you play, the clothes you wear, and the food you eat.
My readers already know a bunch of my favorite restaurants because I shamelessly build them into my books. Momofuku Noodle Bar turned up as a whole chapter in Hot Head because it’s where I have my birthday dinner most years; even the panelli special in that book comes from Ferdinando’s, a killer Carroll Gardens Italian joint I’m addicted to. S’mac’s mac-n-cheese got a starring role for Trip and Silas’ first date in Bad Idea because it’s the best comfort food in town. Even the library in Horn Gate came from a friend’s job at the Eldridge Street Synagogue, because we used to sneak out for the most killer pork buns in Chinatown a couple blocks away
Each neighborhood introduced itself to me personally. I lived in Morningside Heights for college and moved to the East Village right after. I spent my first NYC summers on the Upper West Side and Gramercy Park. I spent my sleazy twenties in Greenwich Village when it was still one of the capitals of the LGBT community, had a sojourn overseas for a couple years, and moved back into Chelsea when the gayborhood had moved up into Chelsea. I headed uptown to the Upper East Side for love and spent several years cohabiting in a landmarked townhouse with all the trimmings. In fact, Pent Up’s swanky Park Avenue digs and everything I know about the outer limits of wealth come from my time living among the trust-fundies and hedge-funders of the world. Even now when I live right in the heart of midtown, I feel like I know every square foot because the city wanted me to and all those neighborhoods elbow their way into my books because of the secrets they’ve told me.
Even better, living in New York means I get to see my friends from all over the world more often. Everyone eventually makes it to the Big Apple. Folks are always dropping in and passing through. Back when I still worked exclusively in showbiz, living in Manhattan kept me in the loop and ahead of the pack. Now that I’m writing romance, I live five blocks from most of the biggest “traditional” publishers but I still get to hang with my beloved Dreamspinners because they’re always in town kicking ass and takin names…both in the city and flying through it to points abroad.
Living here, loving here, working here feels like gift I never stop opening. It challenges me and entertains me and inspires everything I write. Creative types have always gravitated here because the freaky mishmash makes for the tremendous creative friction. With all those cultures and opinions rubbing together, sparks fly, right? Every pearl starts with an itchy oyster, and New York has grit to spare.
What amazes me most about New York, New York is that it knew me all those years ago. “If I can make it here, I’ll make it anywhere…” and I did. How weird is that! When I was seven years old, loud and wacky and passing through with my family, New York knew me for one of its own way back when and called me home.
PENT UP: Mix business with pleasure and take cover.
Ruben Oso moves to Manhattan to start his life over as a low-rent bodyguard and stumbles into a gig in a swanky Park Avenue penthouse. What begins as executive protection turns personal working for a debonair zillionaire who makes Ruben question everything about himself.
Watching over financial hotshot Andy Bauer puts Ruben in an impossible position. He knows zero about shady trading and his cocky boss lives barricaded in a glass tower with wall-to-wall secrets and hot-and-cold-running paranoia. Can the danger be real? Is Andy for real?
What’s a bullet catcher to do? Ruben knows his emotions are out of control even as he races to untangle a high-priced conspiracy and his crazy feelings before somebody gets dead. If his suspicions are right, Andy will pay a price neither can afford, and Ruben may discover there’s no way to guard a heart.
Title: Pent Up
Author: Damon Suede
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Length: 290 Pages
Buy Link: Dreamspinner
Damon Suede grew up out-n-proud deep in the anus of right-wing America, and escaped as soon as it was legal. Though new to romance fiction, Damon has been writing for print, stage, and screen for two decades. He’s won some awards, but counts his blessings more often: his amazing friends, his demented family, his beautiful husband, his loyal fans, and his silly, stern, seductive Muse who keeps whispering in his ear, year after year. Get in touch with him at DamonSuede.com.