Book Spotlight – (Un)Masked by Anyta Sunday & Andy Gallo

Book Spotlight – (Un)Masked by Anyta Sunday & Andy Gallo















Jay Walker has two wishes: to perform the play of his dreams alongside his best friend at Wellington’s Tory Street Theatre, and to meet that special someone. Someone he’d go to the ends of the earth for. Someone who might only exist in fairy tales.

When Jay meets accordion busker Lethe Cross, it’s like living a dream come true. Lethe’s music captivates Jay, and he resolves to meet the man who plays so beautifully. But then he discovers Lethe’s life is more like a nightmare. The phrase “down on his luck” can’t begin to cover it. Determined to help, Jay does some snooping for answers—and winds up on the wrong end of a centuries-old curse. The good news is there’s a way to break it. The bad news is it might cost Jay his life.

Genre: MM gay paranormal romance, magical realism, new adult
This book was previously published by Dreamspinner Press. This updated 2nd edition has some rewritten parts and has been line edited again.














His music sailed over me, beautiful, seductive; the call of a siren—and I went willingly.

He stood on a concrete wall dividing the beach and pavement, cutting notes into a thousand beautiful fragments that the air caught and whipped around me.

His hips twisted and his fingers slid over the accordion keyboard as he commanded the bellows.  Like magic, the disappointment that had clung to me all morning dulled, and I sank against a pylon across and watched him. Watched, and wished the lip of the hoodie he wore would lift so I could see his face.

He swayed with the music, and I glimpsed blond hair and a scar splitting one brow.

Nearer and nearer, I inched, until I stood before him.

His song ended abruptly, and he stared down at me with haunted, tired eyes.

I opened my mouth to ask him to play again, to tell him he was truly talented, but he jumped onto the beach and fled.

My soul prickled, and I knew I would never be the same again.

One never was, when death lurked nearby.














The music of (Un)Masked


Hey guys, it’s Anyta Sunday here! Thanks for having me on your blog today to talk about (Un)Masked, the paranormal gay romance I wrote with the lovely Andy Gallo – and specifically about the music that plays such an important part in the story.


Music is what first brings our main protagonists, Jay and Lethe, together. When Jay hears Lethe play the accordion at the beach, he is taken aback by the haunting beauty of the music. When writing (Un)Masked, I listened a lot to French composer Yann Tiersen who often features the accordion in his pieces. Check out this performance:, and you can imagine Lethe playing his songs at a windy Wellington beach.


His music sailed over me, beautiful, seductive; the call of a siren—and I went willingly.

He stood on a concrete wall dividing the beach and pavement, cutting notes into a thousand beautiful fragments that the air caught and whipped around me.



Music also deepens the connection between the two when Lethe teaches Jay to play “Twinkle Twinkle”.


This time when I started playing, Lethe sang with me. Only not the English but rather the Maori version. “Kapokapo whetū iti,” he began. His voice sailed around us, soft and calm. “Hua ahau he aha koe.”



Music is a reminder of past pains, when the great song “All the right friends” by REM reminds Jay how he’d been dumped before. Make sure to listen to the chorus: And even if it’s not Jay’s favorite, I still love the infectious energy of this song!


“Whoa. Not a fan of R.E.M.?” Lethe looked amused and perhaps a touch perplexed.

I plunked myself next to him again, even closer than before. “Used to be. They were one of my favorites once.”

Lethe paused with a forkful of chicken to his lips. “There’s a story here.”



And last but not least, I imagine the hovel, the place Jay shares with his best friend Gristle, always to be full of music. Grungy Kiwi tunes, as they have been perfected by so many bands hailing from New Zealand. The Dunedin sound and the Flying Nun label are great starting points. So I’ll leave you with this playlist, and the image of Jay and Gristle jumping in their living room to the Bats, the Chills or the Great Unwashed:


Keep on dancing!

































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Heart-stopping slow burn.

Anyta Sunday is a big, BIG fan of slow-burn romances. She loves to read and write stories with characters who slowly fall in love. Some of her favorite tropes to read and write are: Enemies to Lovers, Friends to Lovers, Clueless Guys, Bisexual, Pansexual, Demisexual, Oblivious MCs, Everyone (Else) Can See It, Slow Burn, Love Has No Boundaries. Anyta writes a variety of stories, Contemporary MM Romances with a good dollop of angst, Contemporary lighthearted MM Romances, and even a splash of fantasy. Her books have been translated into German, Italian and French.  Member of Romance Writers of America.

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Andy Gallo’s stories capture how he wished he’d spent his formative years, instead of how it really happened. Unfortunately for his characters, they find themselves infused with some of Andy’s less noble qualities.


A hopeless romantic, Andy writes seated next to a hundred year old Smith Brothers typewriter he inherited from his grandfather. He also dreams of superheroes and wizards and sees no reason why two men with superpowers can’t fall in love just like everyone else. Although not all of his stories have a paranormal bent, a touch of the supernatural never derailed a good read in his mind.


Married and living his happy every after, Andy helps others find their happy endings in the pages of his stories. He and his husband of more than twenty years spend their days rubbing elbows with other parents as they raise their daughter. Embracing his status as the gay dad, Andy sometimes has to remind others that one does want a hint of color even when chasing after their child.


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