Thursday, September 20, 2012
Nobody's Perfect by Kallypso Masters Guest Post And Giveaway
Thank you, My Reading Obsession for hosting me!
This six-day Perfect Blog Tour celebrates the release of Nobody's Perfect (Rescue Me #4), by Kallypso Masters, which released this week—FINALLY! Perfect continues the long-awaited Happily Ever After for probably the two most wounded characters in the series, Damian Orlando and Savannah Gentry (now Savi Baker). Their heartbreaking story began in Masters at Arms (a free read—see links below) and the couple reunited in Nobody's Hero after eight years apart.
Those who follow me on Facebook know that, as an incest and child sexual abuse survivor myself, this book was akin to opening a vein and pouring my lifeblood onto the page. I usually take 2-3 months to write and edit a book in this series (tops). This one took nearly eight months! The result is not an autobiographical story, but my fellow survivors will come face to face with a lot of the same triggers and aftermath we all suffer as a result of our abuse.
Many of the people who helped me get the BDSM, psychology, and other aspects of this story right also are survivors of abuse, or live the lifestyle and work with survivors using BDSM for healing. This Perfect Blog Tour kicks off with the personal reflections of Ekatarina "Saya" Sayanova, who served first as a subject expert (BDSM and medical expertise), then a beta reader, and finally an editor. While reading the whipping by catharsis scene you'll be reading over the course of Days 2-6 in this tour, she was drawn into the scene almost as if she were a participant—at one point, Damián, and then Patti, the bottom he is working with in the scene.
In this Excerpt blog tour, you will be reading from a single scene, Chapters 10-11 of the book. In this scene, Damián (sometimes called Damo) is called upon to be a Service Top to Patti, a slave/masochist at the Masters at Arms Club whose Master (Victor) isn't a sadist and is unable to give her the level of catharsis through whipping she needs to work through a severe trigger that shut her down emotionally earlier that day. This happens to be the first time in months that Damian has been in the club—and is the first time ever for Savi, who was invited here by Adam, who plays a role in helping Savi to understand the purpose of a cathartic whipping—and why Damian is the one to provide that.
** If you are just joining us, you are going to want to take a look at the first three stops in tour to get caught up on what is going on. The links are below.
Sept 17 ~ RomFan
Sept 18 ~ Salacious Reads
Sept 19 ~ Delighted Reader
EXCERPT #3 (repeated last two paragraphs from previous one)
(opening of Chapter 11)
Sweat rolled down between Damián's shoulder blades. He and Victor had gotten nowhere with pressure points a few minutes ago; he'd hoped they could avoid this scene tonight. Now, he fought to keep his focus on Patti and where the bullwhip would fall on her upper back, ass, and thighs, but having Savi sitting across the room distracted him. Damn Dad for ignoring Damián's request and keeping Savi here to witness what he had become.
Don't think about Savi watching this.
Definitely the deal breaker, if there ever could have been anything between him and Savi again. He hadn't told her about his sadistic tendencies. She'd see him as no better than the monsters from her past and would want nothing more to do with him after watching this. But Damián wouldn't hold back, because this was just what Patti needed. Tonight wasn't about Savi.
Damián broke his stance and stepped over to the table where he'd placed his bag and gear. He laid down the whip and reached for the bottle of water, chugging half of it and forcing himself not to let his mind stray toward Savi. He needed to put her out of his mind altogether. Since embracing sadism as his coping mechanism for PTSD, he'd always maintained a firm grip on his control. He needed to regain that control, and soon.
Damián stared at the scratches he and other Doms had made on the floor long ago; many of them placed there in earlier scenes with Patti. It had been months since he'd served as her Top. Only he had the expertise to give her what she needed tonight.
But he could hurt her, if he didn't stay focused on her needs and responses—or if he transmitted his own emotional upheaval to her through the whip. The scratches on the floor usually had a way of grounding him further, but not tonight.
Picking up a towel, he wiped the sweat from his brow, and then took the whip in hand again. He focused on the weave of the leather handle, working to get his mind on the mission ahead. Focus on the objective.
A sense of calm descended on him as, at last, he found his center and took a deep, cleansing breath. He was in his element. He was in control.
He breathed the scent of leather deeply into his lungs.
Feel the weight and balance of the serpent's tongue in your hand.
With his mind, he heard the whistle of the fall and popper as they displaced the air on their path to her waiting back and ass.
Listen only for the sound of Patti's response.
He imagined in slow motion throwing the whip again, watching the fall make its way to stroke Patti's back with love, caring.
Become one with the instrument.
He turned his complete attention to the petite blonde strapped to the center post. Her head was erect, eyes closed tightly, the muscles in her arms rigid. Long way to go.
He'd only laid two stripes about an inch apart just below her shoulder blades. Those thin, red lines wouldn't welt, but he knew he'd have to give her welts before she'd get what she needed tonight. Patti needs release. To connect with her body again.
Did Savi need to experience that level of pain in order to reconnect with her body?
Patti. Focus on Patti. Gunnar's oft-repeated words came back to him: "If you can't control yourself, you can't control others."
I'll take you there, Patti. Damián took a deep breath and walked over to Patti. He stroked the back of her head, confirming the tension he'd observed, but also trying to ground himself further with her body. How many times had he looked at Patti's blonde hair and imagined she was Savi?
Fuck that shit. He'd never done so during a scene and wouldn't start now. Focus, man.
"How are we doing, bebé?"
She nodded, but her eyes remained closed as tight as a gnat's ass.
"Look at me." She opened her eyes slowly, and he waited for her to blink until she appeared to focus on him. He spent a few minutes telling her what he was about to do, how she would respond, laying out what should have been said earlier, if he hadn't been so distracted. The only reaction he got was her pleading gaze, begging him to start; take her there.
"Ready for more?"
"Yes, Sir. I'm ready."
He tamped down his anger at the bastard who'd caused her so much pain in her young life, but he'd learned early on there were evil men in this world who thought nothing about abusing defenseless women. Rosa, Teresa, Patti, Savi. The fucking list seemed endless.
He couldn't help them all, but tonight, in this moment, he could help Patti. Time to give her what she needed from him.
Damián glanced back at Victor, standing well beyond striking range of the whip, in a direct line behind Patti. From past experience, he knew having Victor's voice at the start of a scene coming from the same direction of Damián and the whip helped Patti conjure up the image of Victor being the one wielding the instrument. That imagery would make the transition of power back to Victor go more smoothly after the whipping.
"Hold on tight, Patticakes." At the sound of Victor's voice, Patti's shoulders tensed.
Damián was taking so fucking long to get this scene under way, her focus had shifted now to how hard this was for her Dom to watch. Damián needed to take care of her now; get her into subspace.
With a signal from Damián, Victor added, "Here we go, Patticakes. That's my good girl."
With those scripted words, Victor knew not to interrupt the whipping again. Patti needed release. All three of them did. Damián stepped into his strike zone for the serpent's tongue, drew back his arm, and let the whip crack the air. Patti tensed. Without further delay, Damián drew back the whip again and threw it so that the lash fell an inch further down her back. Her hands chained above her head clutched into fists.
He threw the whip several more times. Patti sighed as she relaxed into the rhythm, the pressure of the leather burning stripes into her back. No catharsis yet, but it would come when he reached the level of impact she sought.
He laid several more stripes across her back, noticing that the flesh across the previous lashes
was now raised and growing redder. She was nowhere near her limit yet. In quick succession, moving below the no-strike zone of the kidneys to the curve of her ass, he laid three more stripes. After the third, he heard her moan.
Getting there. Good.
Still a long way to go to take her home, though. If the serpent's tongue hadn't done the job by now, he needed something he knew would get her there. Damián stepped over to his toy bag and pulled out the well-oiled cat. He'd spent the afternoon preparing his implements, not so much because he expected to use them, but the ritual had helped calm him down after the PTSD episode.
Patti was the only person at the club who'd ever been able to take this level of pain from him and, even then, only on rare occasions had he needed to use it. The knots on the nine tails provided an intense amount of pain over a broader range on her body. He'd take her the rest of the way with the cat.
He drew back and threw the braided tails against Patti's upper thighs. She moaned more loudly as the pain registered in her mind.
Damián's chest swelled. He was the only one here who could give Patti what she needed.
Maybe Savi needed it, too, but tonight was all about Patti. The pain had begun to take hold of her. Time to carry her the rest of the way home.
* * *
What had Damián become? Where was the gentle man she remembered from the beach cave? Or the man she'd lived with for months? She'd never seen this side of him. Thank God. She didn't want him anywhere near her with that menacing whip flying.
Adam hadn't said much since the scenario began to play out. Karla had curled up in his lap, her head on his shoulder and her back to the whipping scene. A glance in their direction found Adam's chin resting on the top of Karla's head, his hand idly playing with the ends of Karla's long, black curls lying against her arm. His left arm supported her back. Clearly, she wasn't able to stand the scene playing out before them. So, there was someone here who couldn't watch the barbaric scene.
But Karla must be the only one. Savi looked around the room, now nearly silent, and saw that every gaze was glued to what was happening at the whipping post. Savi didn't understand her morbid fascination—maybe it was like a wreck on the 5—but she couldn't turn her gaze away either.
Damián stepped away, coiled the menacing-looking whip, and placed it into his leather bag, then pulled out another whip.
"My God! It's a cat-o-nine tails!"
Adam growled at her. "Quiet."
Karla groaned. "Poor Patti. She must be in a really bad way this time. I can't stand that she's hurting like this."
Savi was confused, but remembered to keep her voice low. "But Damián's the one hurting her."
Karla sat up and turned toward Savi, tearstains on her cheeks. "I know it looks like that. I used to think the same thing. I steered clear of Damián for a very long time when I first came here last summer. He scared the shit out of me. But wait 'til you see the change in Patti when this is over."
Savi wasn't sure she could last until then. Her stomach churned. "I think I'm going to be sick."
Adam reached out and touched Savi's arm. "Do you need to go upstairs?"
The sound of the tails finding their marks against the blonde's skin caused Savi to jump. She turned to watch the new stripes—she supposed if she'd counted, there would be nine of them—turn red across Patti's upper thighs. Savi's focus was drawn to Victor's profile. Pain. He looked as if every lash of the whip had come down on him. The anguish on his face made it clear why Patti had to come to Damián for this.
Damián must have no feelings whatsoever to be able to do this to another human being, and yet Victor did nothing to stop the whipping of his woman.
Victor's voice carried across the room to her. "That's it, Patticakes. Almost there. You're so brave. So strong."
Patti tensed again at his words, but didn't open her eyes. Damián turned to glare at Victor.
Adam sighed. "Victor probably shouldn't be here for this part."
"He's anxious to get the painful part over with and move on to aftercare. Probably hurts Victor more than Patti, but his talking just pulls her away from focusing on the cat. She knows how Victor feels and is worrying more about him than herself right now. It'll take Damián longer to get her into deep subspace and catharsis if Victor continues to interrupt."
Damián's swing grew harder and Savi watched as the woman's face actually grew more relaxed the harder he whipped her. This didn't make any sense.
Even more surprising, there wasn't a drop of blood on Patti's back. When Savi had sought her endorphin release years ago by cutting, there had been bloodletting. Damián's whip and the cat had only raised red welts. Maybe he did know the limits he could go to without permanently marring her flesh.
A gentle sadist? No, Adam had called him a sensual sadist. A Service Top. Whoever heard of having someone train to provide a service like this? But Damián's skill with the whip wasn't something he would have picked up without many years of training.
Other than the comments he'd made a few minutes ago, Victor stayed out of the scene now. This was between Damián and Patti.
"He's continuously gauging her body language to determine where she is, how much more she needs to get where she needs to be. When she totally relaxes, he'll know she's there." Adam kept his voice low and she strained to hear.
More welts formed on the woman's backside. Savi cringed. How much longer? What was Damián watching for? "How can anyone relax after being whipped like that? She hasn't even screamed."
"Patti's a masochist. She doesn't process pain the same way a non-masochist would."
She turned back to Adam. "Pain is pain."
"No, it's not that simple. You probably learned in physiology, or was it anatomy?—I didn't get that far in school." He shrugged. "Anyway, I've read a lot about body structures and how the body does what it does. Our body actually only feels the temperature and pressure associated with the impact instrument. It's the brain that then interprets those sensations as pain or pleasure."
The man downplayed his formal education his knowledge-base on pain was deeper than anything she'd been taught in school.
"That's what makes pain so subjective—why one person has a high tolerance for pain, while another is debilitated by seemingly minor hurts."
Savi had a high tolerance for pain, but she'd developed techniques to help her tamp down the pain out of necessity. She chose to be numb.
Adam continued, keeping his voice barely audible. "Patti's learned to embrace the energy the whip or other implements deliver, rather than resist it. Her brain will interpret the lashes as pain eventually. Right now, Damián's trying to get her to focus on the present rather than hide within herself where she doesn't feel anything. He's trying to get her to express the emotions she's feeling, like anger, which she can't let out otherwise."
Again, the similarity between Savi and Patti was too close for comfort. Savi faced him. Adam's gaze bore into her and she squirmed in her seat. She knew he wasn't speaking abstractly, but directly to her.
"It takes an extreme level of pressure from the whips to get through the defenses she's built to cope over the years."
He could have been talking about Savi—and probably was. Savi turned away from his intense gaze and watched in silence as several more blows were delivered across Patti's already red butt.
"Patti's coping mechanism of making herself numb has worked for her for a long time, but until Victor and Damián, she hadn't really been living—merely existing."
Savi understood that feeling too well. Her skin usually felt anesthetized, as if she had been injected with Novocain from the top of her head to the soles of her feet. That inability to feel was normal for her now. She'd become accustomed to it. Still, she hated that she couldn't feel the sensation of Mari hugging or kissing her. Savi wanted so desperately to feel her baby's arms around her, but…felt nothing but pressure. Of course, she would go through the motions and return the affection, but she'd always been left to wonder what it would feel like to—well, feel.
Is that what Damián was helping this woman to do?
Wow! Here are the next two stops in the tour so you can read the rest of the scene.
Sept 21 ~ Herding Cats and Burning Soup
Sept 22 ~ Guilty Indulgence
Amazon B&N All Romance e-books Smashwords
For those new to the Rescue Me series, the intensely emotional stories will have you laughing, crying, screaming, and experiencing a catharsis of your own as you read about these honorable, loveable, but quite imperfect characters who still manage to fumble toward ecstasy in the arms of their perfect mates.
The stories are told in chronological order and build upon past stories, so you'll readers are advised strongly to read the series in order. To help you enter their world and understand many of the main characters in the series (who will return in book after book), the introduction to the series, Masters at Arms, is a free (Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, All Romance eBooks, Kobo, iTunes, and other booksellers). Masters is followed by Nobody's Angel (#2), Nobody's Hero (#3), and Nobody's Perfect (#4). At least five more books are planned over the next few years, but no other publication dates have been set.
Find Kally at the following places:
Facebook Author Page https://www.facebook.com/KallypsoMastersAuthorPage
Amazon Author Page http://www.amazon.com/Kallypso-Masters/e/B007WUQPOQ/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1347851121&sr=8-2-ent
Kallypso will be offering one commenter a $10 Gift Certificate to bookseller of there choice on each blog. Please comment with email to enter for the daily prize.
No Email = No Entry!!!!!
She will also be offering one commenter from the whole tour a grand prize of a $200 Gift Certificate to book seller of choice.
So just so we are clear comment here with your email for the daily price, Fill out the form for a chance at the grand prize.
Two ways to enter for two different prizes.
Savannah Gentry, now Savi Baker, escaped the torture and degradation forced upon her by a sadistic father for eleven years and has made a safe life for herself and her daughter. When her father threatens her peace of mind—and her daughter's safety—Savi runs to Damián Orlando for protection. Their one day together eight years earlier changed both their lives and resulted in a secret she can no longer hide. But being with Damián reawakens feelings she wants buried—and stirs up an onslaught of disturbing flashbacks that leave her shaken to the core with little hope of ever being a sexual being again.
Damián has his own dragons to fight, but has never forgotten the one perfect day he spent with Savannah in a cave at the beach. He will go to the ends of the earth to protect Savi and her daughter, but can never be the whole man she deserves after a firefight in Iraq. Besides, the trauma of war and resulting PTSD has led him to find his place as the Masters at Arms Club's favorite sadist. Savi needs someone gentle and loving, not the broken man he has become. But he sees that the lifestyle he's come to embrace also can help Savi regain control of her life and sexuality. How can he not help redirect her negative thoughts and actions if she needs him?
Happy Reading, Carin