Welcome to Day 5 of the Perfect Blog Tour, with Kallypso Masters and friends!
Thank you, Herding Cats and Burning Soup 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.
Sept 17 ~ RomFan
Sept 18 ~ Salacious Reads
Sept 19 ~ Delighted Reader
Sept 20 ~ My Reading Obsession
Read the Excerpt after the jump!
"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?
Savi blinked her eyes to remove the unwelcome sting of unshed tears. She remained riveted to the spectacle across the room, knowing she wouldn't be able to leave until this scene played out. Patti now seemed to be riding some kind of high, moaning, even smiling.
Savi turned to Adam. "If I didn't know better, I'd say she was stoned."
Adam continued to stroke Karla's arm. Savi was mesmerized by the gentle way he touched her, wondering what it would feel like if a man touched her that way. She'd probably run screaming from the room, although Damián had touched her like that. She'd even enjoyed it.
Adam smiled. "Endorphins. She's getting closer now."
Endorphins. Like the ones released when Savi cut her arm all those times so long ago? She still remembered that euphoric feeling.
On the next stroke, Patti let out a cry of anguish and her body sagged against the post. Damián only struck harder the next time. She screamed again. Seconds later, tears began to stream down the woman's face.
"That's my good girl. Let it out." Damián's words made Savi cringe, but she tamped down the emotion.
Patti screamed out, "I am not your whore!"
Savi's chest tightened and the walls began closing in on her.
"Let it go, Patticakes. That's my sweet girl." Victor's voice spoke to Patti in firm, soothing tones. She began to babble more about not being someone's whore, certain she wasn't referring to Victor, but some abuser from her past.
"You're my slut. Only Sir Victor's slut. No one else's."
Savi couldn't breathe.
"You okay, Savi?"
She turned to find Karla's look of concern aimed at her. Savi nodded automatically, then it occurred to her that Patti was the one in pain, yet Savi was receiving Karla's sympathy. This place was seriously fucked up.
She was seriously fucked up, because Savi found herself wishing Damián had called her his good girl. But she'd hated those words her entire life.
Damián had become silent since he'd spoken them, except for the swish and crack of the cat. Why didn't he stop? Couldn't he see Patti had zoned out? She didn't need any more pain—or whatever they wanted to call it.
No way would Savi ever let anyone abuse her like that.
But she had. Many times. And she'd enjoyed it, too.
Filthy whore. Dirty slut.
Only Patti didn't act as if she was being abused now. Her face was at peace. Bliss-filled. She had the look of a woman who'd surrendered herself totally into the hands of another. And not gentle hands, either. Patti had turned over the decisions about how hard to whip her to Damián; trusting him to give her what she needed, rather than self-medicating and keeping herself numb.
How did what Patti experienced now compare to the rush Savi had gotten from cutting herself? There was no comparison. When Savi had cut herself, she'd remained in control of how long, how deep.
No, she'd only had the illusion of control.
Cutting herself with a razor blade, she could have caused serious damage and not realized it until it was too late. Would she have cut herself if Damián hadn't found her last week?
No, she'd already laid the blade down, hadn't she? No matter, she'd stopped in time.
But having someone else in charge of delivering the relief she craved would be safer. She remembered what Damián had said soon after finding her on the bathroom floor.
"Would you like to find other ways to get that rush without cutting yourself?"
As she watched the cat slap against Patti's back again, Savi tamped down a momentary jealousy. Oh dear lord. Was she a masochist, too? Did she need what Patti was going through in order to feel something again? Had the sadists in her past conditioned her to crave severe pain in order to feel anything, sexual or otherwise?
Victor came over and placed a hand on Damián's shoulder and, without a word, the two of them went to the post. A woman came over from the bar and offered Damián a wet towel and, while Victor stroked Patti's head, Damián pressed the towel against her burning skin.
Luke brought over a tube of some kind of ointment and a pair of gloves and Damián began to administer first aid to the stripes he'd placed on her back.
Victor bent down and unstrapped Patti's ankles, while Damián freed her wrists. The gentle way they ministered to her made Savi's eyes burn and she blinked until the discomfort receded. Patti collapsed into Victor's arms and the linebacker of a man carried her to a loveseat where he wrapped her gently in a blanket and softly stroked her arm. Patti's eyes remained closed, tears flowing freely down her cheeks. Her blonde head lay against his brown chest, her face serene. Calm.
"They haven't spoken a word."
Adam said in a low voice, "Victor handles aftercare a lot better than the actual whipping. He knows she's still in catharsis. Talking now would pull her out too soon. She does need to know Victor is there for her, so he'll touch her, but he won't intrude until she's finished processing the emotions she's just released."
Savi continued to watch, mesmerized. This might not be therapy, but for Patti, it certainly was therapeutic. Damián had given her what she needed. This was the first time she'd ever heard about one Dom providing a service for some other Dom's sub. Of course, she'd been a pawn of Lyle's and her father's many times, passed around to service whichever clients were on the agenda. But none of those men had cared about her needs or taken care of her the way Damián and Victor were taking care of Patti. They weren't doing this to meet their own sexual or sadistic needs. It was all about Patti and having her emotional needs met.
After what seemed like an eternity to Savi, Patti's eyelids fluttered open and she looked up at Victor. Something he said brought a smile to her face. When he kissed her, Savi turned away, realizing for the first time she'd been intruding on a private moment.
In an instant, Savi had a flash of clarity. She wanted to be the one chained to that post.
She wanted Damián to use the cat—well, no, maybe just a whip—on her. Like Patti.
She glanced across the room and watched as Damián finished cleaning his whip. He must have taken care of the cat while she was mesmerized with Patti and Victor's decompression—no, aftercare, Adam had called it. Damián applied some kind of lotion to the leather, coiled it, and tucked it into his leather bag. He zipped the bag, picked it up, and then turned toward her.
Something knotted in the pit of her stomach.
Damián, I want to feel again.
Savi blinked rapidly, but her eyes continued to sting with unshed tears. A look of regret crossed Damián's face. He turned away from her and walked toward the door.
Thank God. What on earth was she thinking? She'd never be able to experience what Patti had tonight. She'd never even be able to get beyond being restrained again, much less take that level of pain.
She was beyond hope. Savi wished she could shed the tears stinging the backs of her eyelids.
"Breathe, Savi. Now." She blinked and found Adam face-to-face with her. "Damián can help you, too."
She shook her head, then wondered how he'd known what she'd been thinking. "No one can help me."
"Bullshit. Trust him."
"I can't trust anyone that much."
"What are you most afraid of?"
Savi drew another deep breath, prepared to give her pat answer that she wasn't afraid of anything. But she was. She couldn't lie to herself any longer. "Too many things to name."
"Restraints. I can't let anyone restrain me."
What did you think if that scene? Want more? You can finish up the scene at the last stop of the tour. Link is below.
Sept 22 ~ Guilty Indulgence
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?
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.
1. Kallypso is giving away a $10 Gift Certificate to one commenter at herding cats & burning soup! So leave her some love and don't forget to leave your email address so we can reach you! This one's open today (9/21) only!
2. One tour wide grand prize of a $200 Gift Certificate is also being offered by Kallypso. How amazing is that?! Fill out the form below to enter that giveaway!