Thank you for joining us for The Flesh Cartel virtual book tour! All week long, we’ll be giving readers an up-close look at our new psychosexual thriller, The Flesh Cartel. The first episode in this serial story, Capture, is now available for purchase via the Riptide Publishing website. Because October is also Riptide Publishing’s Anniversary Blog Hop Bash month, we’re giving away an extra special reader prize at every stop along this tour—and all month long! One commenter from every stop we make in October will win a $10 credit to Riptide Publishing. Simply leave a comment below by 11:59 pm on Sunday, Oct 7th (email address included) to enter. Visit the First Anniversary Blog Hop Bash page for our complete October schedule, and make sure to check out each stop to increase your chances of winning great prizes all month long!
Welcome to the Dark Side
I write a lot of dark stories. So does my co-author, Heidi Belleau, and they also happen to be the type of story we both enjoy reading the most. And one of the questions I get asked the most is, quite simply, “Why?” What’s the appeal of not just reading, but actually writing, about horrible things? What drives me to spend months and months elbow-deep in some poor sap’s misery?
It’s an interesting question. And one I often ask right back, since if you’re reading my stuff, you probably like the dark side too. Or maybe you’re just curious and want to dip a toe. Or, like many, maybe you find yourself strangely compelled, unable to look away even when it wrenches your heart out.
Which goes to show that we all have different reasons for reading (or writing) what we do. And a story like The Flesh Cartel is going to showcase that variety more than most.
What really fascinates me about a story like The Flesh Cartel is the headgames. The character journeys.Exploring what it takes to break a man, or—in Mat’s case—to not break a man despite circumstances that would shatter most of us into a million little pieces. What it takes to break the bond of trust and love between two brothers who’d do anything for each other when the story starts. What it takes to build a bond of trust and love between captor and captive. What it takes to heal a broken mind when all is said and done. These are questions I sincerely hope none of us will ever have to face in real life, but that’s part of what makes them all the more fascinating in fiction. It’s a safe space to explore these ideas, to feel the tension and the anger and terror, experience the hope and thrill and the resilience of the human spirit (or not). We’re not writing The Flesh Cartel as a flimsy backdrop for erotic encounters (although there’s no question many a fellow kinkster will find it erotic, just as there’s no question many a fellow psychological horror or thriller reader will emphatically not find it erotic but enjoy it anyway); we’re writing it to treat these circumstances with the utmost respect and gravity and see how they shape lives.
Which is why it takes us over a hundred-thousand words—two category novels’ worth of writing!—to even begin to form a Stockholm-syndrome-like connection between captor and one of our captives. In real life, breaking a man takes long, careful, patient effort. So too in The Flesh Cartel, and it was an absolutely fascinating process to watch play out across the page. It took us to more than one unexpected place, and taught us more than one unexpected truth. We hope you’ll find it equally unexpected and fascinating to read.
Available for $2.99 (75 pages)
Synopsis: In this first installment of the exciting new psychosexual thriller, The Flesh Cartel, orphaned brothers Mat and Dougie Carmichael are stolen in the night from their own home. Taken to a horrifying processing facility, they are assessed, microchipped, and subjected to unspeakable brutality—all in preparation for sale to the highest bidder.
In a world where every person has a price, the beautiful and subduable PhD student Dougie is highly prized. His brother, a rough-edged MMA fighter, is less desirable—and potentially too dangerous—but he still has his own appeal.
Abused and locked up under round-the-clock surveillance, with no idea where they are or even why they’ve been taken, escape seems impossible, which leaves staying together their only hope. And after being separated once by the foster system, they'll do anything to keep it from happening again. Anything at all.
Rachel Haimowitz is an M/M erotic romance author, a freelance writer and editor, and the Managing Editor of Riptide Publishing. She's also a sadist with a pesky conscience, shamelessly silly, and quite proudly pervish. Fortunately, all those things make writing a lot more fun for her . . . if not so much for her characters.
When she's not writing about hot guys getting it on (or just plain getting it; her characters rarely escape a story unscathed), she loves to read, hike, camp, sing, perform in community theater, and glue captions to cats. She also has a particular fondness for her very needy dog, her even needier cat, and shouting at kids to get off her lawn.
You can find Rachel at her website, Tweeting as RachelHaimowitz, chatting in the Goodreads forums, and blogging at Fantasy Unbound. She loves to hear from folks, so feel free to drop her a line anytime at metarachel (at) gmail (dot) com.
Heidi Belleau was born and raised in small town New Brunswick, Canada. She now lives in the rugged oil-patch frontier of Northern BC with her husband, an Irish ex-pat whose long work hours in the trades leave her plenty of quiet time to write. She has a degree in history from Simon Fraser University with a concentration in British and Irish studies; much of her work centred on popular culture, oral folklore, and sexuality, but she was known to perplex her professors with unironic papers on the historical roots of modern romance novel tropes. (Ask her about Highlanders!) When not writing, you might catch her trying to explain British television to her newborn daughter or standing in line at the local coffee shop, waiting on her caramel macchiato.
You can find her tweeting as @HeidiBelleau, email her at email@example.com, or visit her blog: http://heidi-below-zero.blogspot.com.