Friday, March 15, 2013

Author #7: Insatiable Reads Book Tour and Giveaway: The Ringmaster: Cirque de Plaisir by Erika Masten

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Enter the big Insatiable Reads giveaway!

Insatiable Reads Book Tour

The Birth of the Cirque de Plaisir by Erika Masten
Writers make their living thinking about uncommon people taking extraordinary actions in unlikely situations, and I’m no exception.  One of my favorite permutations of this activity is crossing two dissimilar places or concepts or characters to get one unpredictable flash of inspiration.

And just such a flash flared for me when I was looking through some gorgeous noir erotic photography for a serial domination romance project I was planning.  One photo of a woman in high boots and a to-die-for black corset, surrounded in a haze of smoke backlit by spotlights, suggested a performance.  But what kind?  She had a sort of showgirl look to her, but there was still the bondage edge.

Showgirl are, of course, a staple of Law Vegas revues, but it’s also the term we kids used to apply to all the beautiful acrobats riding horses and swinging around on the aerial silks when the annual trip to the circus was still the highlight of my young life.  So…crossing the romantic domination I’m known for in my erotic romances and erotica…with the circus!

But what if it wasn’t just any circus?  What if it was an elite invitation-only BDSM spectacle where all the familiar touches of the circus—from the food to the clothes to the spectators themselves—got a luxury makeover?  You’d end up with saffron and white truffle popcorn, crystal-studded corsets, and masked patrons who are really famous actors, ball players, politicians, and captains of industry.
You’d end up with The Cirque de Plaisir:

Cirque de Plaisir. Circus of Pleasure.  An upscale underground theatrical pageant of desire and allure.  A masked BDSM spectacle bringing forbidden fantasies to life for the select few with the power, wealth, and influence to secure an invitation.

For Donovan Haigh, the man they all call Ringmaster, the Cirque de Plaisir is illusion, showmanship, and domination brought to the level of performance art.  It is the culmination and affirmation of his grasp of human nature mixed with business acumen and sheer force of will. And no one dares ask what wounds and personal losses underlie the Ringmaster’s resolve to maintain that unwavering control.

For Olivia Keane, the Circus of Pleasure is a vision in the night, a hunger in the dark, and a promise of freedom couched in the terms of submission.   Become the Ringmaster’s slave and escape the grasp of her manipulative, belittling family.  Succumb to the tightrope-taut sexual tension between the showman Dom and herself and blossom in the warmth of the spotlight and Donovan Haigh’s embrace.

But when the Ringmaster’s slave becomes the star of the show, drawing the lion’s share of attention and princely sums for private command performances, will Donovan be willing to share either the spotlight or his submissive?  The Ringmaster’s hold on Olivia and his own self-control begins to fray as powerful admirers try to woo her away, and at least one suitor proves he is not who he seems.  Old pains and family hatreds will not be so easy to escape for the Ringmaster and his slave, even in their secreted world of glamour and passion.

An Excerpt from Erika Masten’s
The Ringmaster: Cirque de Plaisir
“Right, then,” I said as I finally allowed the whip in my left hand to uncoil and refrained from commenting on the way Kitten tensed as the lash clacked against the hardwood stage. “I’m going to teach you six sub positions. You assume the first position, and when I crack my whip, you’ll move smoothly to the next and the next.”

Standing beside Olivia, I dipped my head just slightly, almost as though to whisper to her. Her scent accosted me like a flurry buffeting the high-wire.  She smelled like…too many things to keep straight…sweet fruit, licorice and lily, vanilla and caramel, and…and cotton candy.  She smelled like the first time a child walked into a circus, that moment of excitement beyond expectation or expression.  It felt like my stomach dropped, as my erection rose with a fury.  And I drew back, fighting obvious and utter dismay.

In a flat, guarded monotone, I instructed, “Keep it fluid. Breathe with it. Feel it. Can you do that?”

“Y-yes,” she responded, her gaze still distant. I was surprised at how irritating I found that, the fact that she was not entirely there within my grasp, absolutely invested in my service. In my pleasure…  While I was standing there with my head spinning from the mere scent of her, for #### sake.

Despite feeling…out of sorts, unbalanced,…I forced myself—cautiously—to bring my lips to the curl of her ear. “Yes, Ringmaster,” I reminded her.

“Yes, Ringmaster,” she repeated in a breathless murmur. Exactly the reaction I wanted from her.

Win a paperback of The Ringmaster: Cirque de Plaisir!  Enter now through midnight March 31, 2013 by liking Erika’s Facebook page through this Rafflecopter giveaway. (Please be 18 years or older to enter.)

Insatiable Reads Book Tour

Erika Masten is currently on virtual tour with 15 other awesome romance authors as part of the Insatiable Reads Book Tour. From March 4-31st, readers will be invited to enter for a chance to win a Kindle Paperwhite, free books, and other fun goodies. Readers will also be able to participate in author chats, get insights into writing and publishing romance, and collect story swag.

This week, Erika is touring with Jordan Bell, Marina Maddix, and Carré White.

About Erika
Erika Masten is a woman of many addictions, including erotic romance novels, steamy men, and unreasonably high heels.  Her dream job, writing fulltime, still has to compete for her time with California weather, park trails, shoe shopping, a spoiled Bullmastiff, and all the hunky men who stop to tell her what a cool dog she has.  The Ringmaster is but the beginning of the story of The Cirque de Plaisir.  Keep track of Erika and future books at Facebook, Twitter, or by subscribing to her e-newsletter.

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