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A Masque of Infamy Goodreads Book Giveaway

So I’m giving away 15 copies of my novel, but with a major caveat: the version I am giving away is rife with typos and mistakes (it has since been copyedited), has a unresolved ending that you will most likely hate and/or feel cheated by, the font size of the text is one point too large, the cover features a self portrait that makes me look like a Bon Jovi chick (which may further confuse people about whether I am a boy or a girl), the back copy seems like it was written by a copywriter on a cigarette break, and the subject matter is dark and generally referred to as “not for everybody” and led one reviewer to proclaim, “HUH?” Not to mention the pompous title that doesn’t make any sense. But hey… what the fuck, it’s FREE. And it comes with a money-back guarantee: After reading it, if you still feel like you’ve had a fucked up childhood, you get a full refund. HOW CAN YOU LOSE?!? Enter now:

Goodreads Book Giveaway

A Masque of Infamy by Kelly Dessaint

A Masque of Infamy

by Kelly Dessaint

Giveaway ends October 27, 2013.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win


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Piltdownlad #6

This issue features the “Institutionalized” story cycle, which is an exploration of one event told from the individual perspectives of four participants. Picks up where The Nasty Dear (Piltdownlad #4) left off: from the Jackson group home in Anniston, Alabama, to Hill Crest Hospital, a mental hospital in Birmingham, where my brother Joey is put in the Youth Ward and I end up in the Adolescent Ward. Meanwhile, our father and Rick come home to discover their fate: a potential life sentence for child sexual abuse. Interspersed among the narrative are actual court records from the trial, newspaper clippings, song lyrics, photos and other miscellany. As with all issues of Piltdownlad, not for the fainthearted or the hardhearted.


The “INSTITUTIONALIZED” story cycle:
1. The Adolescent Ward
2. Shit on A Shingle
3. POW
4. Group
5. The Hanged Man
6. Mister Nice Guy
7. Reckoning
8. Feeling Blocks

100 pages
wraparound cover
perfect bound

Available through Amazon.com




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A Review of A Masque of Infamy from my name is sage


Louis kept his composure and rarely showed a soft side, but when he did, it completely changed the mood of the book. It was a firm reminder that this story is real.

Read the rest of the review here.

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mc_press_interviewInterview/article with the MC Press about publishing and writing about the family…


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Gabby The Cutter – A Masque of Infamy Excerpt


“I feel like a bug under somebody’s shoe.” The new girl was spread out on a chair, the scars on her arms like chaotic spider webs. When Ron called her out in group she made no attempt to hide her contempt for him, Hillcrest and the rest of us.

“Why do you feel that way?” Ron asked calmly.

“Why do you think?” She spit the words out, her ferocity like an unhinged shutter in a windstorm.

“Who are you angry with?”

“Everybody! Y’all think you can judge me, but you don’t even know who I am. So, FUCK YOU!” She stood up and kicked a table.

Those nearest moved out of her way.

Ron leapt to his feet. “This behavior is unacceptable.”

“Fuck you!” She screamed as she ran her fingers through her blonde hair, clenched her fists and pulled out two wads.

Rosie ran into the room. She and Ron grabbed the girl’s shoulders. She struggled violently in their grasp, throwing punches at Ron and clawing at Rosie’s face as they carried her down the hallway. She kicked her feet and gnashed her teeth like a feral beast. We listened to her screams until the door of the Time Out room slammed shut. After that her wail was muffled, like the ominous screech of an owl in the distance.

I looked at Alex in awe. This girl was the most exciting thing to hit the ward since Justin, the Bible eater. We were both impressed. Not only was she a total mental case, she was gorgeous.

She’d showed up a two days before. We were coming back from occupational therapy. Alex and I were charging up the stairs doing our usual routine: him growling in his best James Hetfield, “Back to the ward!” while I responded with a guttural snarl, “You will do! What I say!” And then in unison. “Back to the ward!” As we smashed through the door, we stopped in our tracks. There she was, in a Mötley Crüe shirt, standing at the nurses’ station with her head down. When she looked up through matted strands of hair, her face was feline. Alex broke the spell. “Rock and roll,” he said in his bad English accent.

On the ward, she kept to herself. In the common room she sat alone, barely registering anybody’s presence. During group she scowled and refused to participate. She marched along reluctantly through the various daily activities, never smiling or showing any reaction beyond a deathray gaze.


— from A Masque of Infamy

illustration by Dame Darcy

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THRASHMETALPUNK – A Blog for the Book

Screen Shot 2013-05-13 at 12.16.32 PM

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A Fake Mohawk – A Masque of Infamy excerpt


Back at Hillcrest, I counted down the days until my departure. Sandra said I would be out of the hospital some time before Christmas. To commemorate my inevitable discharge, I requested a trip to Supercuts so I could get a mohawk. “It’ll be my Christmas present,” I told Calvin. “I got the cash. Just need somebody to take me to get it done.”

As I was leaving the Sheltons’s house, Mrs. Shelton slipped a bill into my pocket. “In case you need anything down there…” In Sandra’s van, I unfolded it and smiled at Benjamin Franklin’s smirk. One hundred smackeroos!

“You’ll look like a fool with a haircut like that!” Calvin scoffed when I showed him the picture of the hairstyle I wanted. “I’d let you do it just to see how dumb you’ll look afterwards, but I’m not that cruel.”

“What do you know? It’ll be tough.”

After a few days of persistent cajoling, Calvin went to Julie, who decided that I needed to get permission for such an extreme hairstyle.

“From who?” I asked. “My mother’d let me do it.”

“Your caseworker.”


I was vaguely optimistic when I picked up the phone, but Sandra was ambivalent.

“I don’t know… that sounds a little drastic.”

“It’s not a real mohawk,” I protested. “I just want to shave the sides, that way if I want, most of the time my hair’ll just fall over the side, or I could part it down the middle and nobody would be able tell.”

After she relented, Nina drove me to Supercuts, where the hairstylist wrinkled her brow when I described the haircut I wanted.

“I don’t think that’s gonna look very good.”

I was persistent. But she refused to shave my sides to the skin. Instead she left an inch of hair that she slicked back with gel. So it was almost like a real mohawk.

On my way out of the mall, I stopped by the photo booth and documented my new style.

— from A Masque of Infamy

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