Monday, August 11, 2014

The Flesh Cartel #19: Promise by Rachel Haimowitz & Heidi Belleau Blog Tour with Series Review, Guest Post & Giveaway (NSFW)

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Hello all, and welcome to the Oh Thank God It’s Finally Finished last-episode blog tour for the Flesh Cartel! :) Episode #19 has just released, and thus concludes the serial whose first episode released nearly two years past. We’re so excited to be sharing the boys’ happy endings with you, and to be with you here on this last look at the nearly 400,000 word journey into and then out of the darkness of human trafficking. We’ve done our best to make this tour fun and interesting both for folks who haven’t yet read the books but might be considering doing so, and for folks who’ve already begun (or already finished!) the series. Plus, there’s some very cool prizes up for grabs at the end of the post!

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The Flesh Cartel #19: Promise by Rachel Haimowitz & Heidi Belleau

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Title ~ The Flesh Cartel #19: Promise

Authors ~ Rachel Haimowitz & Heidi Belleau

Publisher ~ Riptide Publishing

Genre ~ M/M Romance, Dark Psychosexual Thriller

Rating

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Synopsis

In the exciting FINAL EPISODE of the Flesh Cartel.
With the help of the FBI, Mat Carmichael has let himself be re-taken by the Flesh Cartel. Objective? Rescue his brother, exact revenge, and destroy the entire organization from the inside.
FBI Special Agent Nate Johnson will be playing backup, of course, but to get Dougie out alive, Mat will need to make sure his brother is out of Allen’s clutches before calling in the troops. Now that Mat’s back in bondage, though, there’s no way he can do it alone. He’ll have to ask for help from the only man within the Cartel who cares about Dougie’s welfare: Nikolai. And even knowing it will destroy him, Nikolai delivers.
Bringing down the Cartel should have been the hardest part, but it doesn’t take long to realize that the real challenge has only just begun. Dougie doesn’t know how to be free anymore, and Mat is forced to admit that he may no longer be strong enough to help himself, let alone his brother. But with loved ones in their corner and their love for each other banked but not extinguished, Mat and Dougie learn that you can come home again, no matter how desperate the circumstances you’ve left behind.

Buy it Here

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Monique’s Review of The Flesh Cartel Series

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The Flesh Cartel has been an epic saga, a journey that has affected me like nothing else I’ve ever read.The impact it has on me as a reader has been startling. Heidi Belleau and Rachel Haimowitz created two characters that became part of the very fabric of my being… Mat and Dougie were put through every torture, humiliation, degradation, pain, hurt and mind fuck imaginable and I was there with them every step of the way… so much so, these boys were ingrained within my very soul!

This series is definitely not for the feint hearted and has been agonising to watch. There are many that would be completely grossed out by the torture and debasement that Mat and Dougie have endured at the hands of Madame, Nikolai and Allen. However if you feel you are a reader that can tackle the darker side of fiction then I promise you The Flesh Cartel is a truly outstanding experience, the plot has been intricate and harrowing with twists and turns in every direction where nothing has been predictable. Many times I have been lost for words, completely devastated, hurt and angry, with that horrible feeling of helplessness, so totally engrossed as if it were real life… ‘cause I sure as hell felt every emotion imaginable and cried buckets of… appalled, hurt and sad tears. I have screamed, shouted and cursed the authors, but there were also happy tears and moments where my heart just melted and for that I am truly thankful.

I had to wonder on many occasions just how these two men could suffer so much, it seemed so futile, yet Heidi and Rachel made it believable… No Hollywood movie moment… seeing the hero’s walking away from the fire unscathed. Mat survived because he’s a fighter, never wavering in his hope that they would be free. Dougie survived the only way he knew how, to submit… each having their own self preservation mechanisms. These men are and will always remain damaged by their experiences but we are left with the healing processes in place knowing that all is right in their world, because that one thread that has been prevalent throughout, never once faltering, was love… the unconditional love one brother has for another, that no matter what life threw at them, they would survive and Mat kept his promise.

There were many beautiful moments in this series especially towards the end between Mat and Dougie, and not forgetting Nate, a stunning performance from him, I must say! Again a testament to the writing of the authors as it perfectly balanced out all the trauma we were dealt.

I struggle at times with Nikolai, the epitome of evil in my eyes but at the same time I could understand him and his warped sense of what was right and wrong, his own justification in what he believed was the gift he was giving to the slaves, the gift of submission… the man was delusional yet charismatic and convincing… and the fact that he gets the very last word was sheer unadulterated class!!!

The writing has been flawless, exemplary in every aspect. I feel like Heidi and Rachel have poured their heart and soul into this series and as a reader I have hung on every word written, totally absorbed. And whilst not always appreciating the plot twists, I had faith in their literary skills knowing that come the end we would get a satisfactory conclusion. Rachel and Heidi didn’t fail me, they continued to astound me right to the very end… yes, even that very last chapter simply titled Nikolai. I have loved and devoured every last word and now feel slightly conflicted, it’s over, I’m happy, ecstatic even,  but I couldn’t help shed a tear at the loss of the series and characters that have held my heart hostage for so long… it has been truly captivating.

 

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Bringing the Flesh Cartel to Visual Life (NSFW)

Today on the tour, we’re bringing you a visual treat! As authors, we’ve been incredibly fortunate to have five absolutely gorgeous covers painted by the incredibly talented Imaliea; there’s little more exciting for an author than physically watching your characters come to life in an illustration, and we got to see that and share it with you all five times. As awesome as that was, we also had a few particular scenes stuck in our heads, naughty naughty things we were dying to see come alive in a similar way.

So after spending more time than is probably strictly healthy on Y Gallery (an online art gallery featuring gay art of varying styles and levels of explicitness), Heidi came into contact with Ariaa (link NSFW), a talented artist who happened to do a fair amount of non-con art. Seeing how great Ariaa is to work with and how gorgeous their art is, we commissioned them to do an image of Dougie, to share with you on this tour. We’d planned on an image for Mat, too, but sadly Ariaa wasn’t available. Hopefully you’ll forgive us for the snub!

So without further adieu, here he is! Please be warned that the content of the art is NSFW and contains triggering imagery including rape and abuse, so use your best judgment as to whether that’s something you’re okay looking at. If it is, we hope you enjoy.

The image we commissioned of Dougie is one of Heidi’s favorite visual scenes: a scene from earlier in the story when Nikolai is training Dougie to understand the value of “pleasure” by keeping him in chastity for several days on end. This time of torture was a real turning point for Dougie, a crucial part of transforming him into the willing, eager slave Nikolai wants him to be.

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Series Reading Order

The Flesh Cartel, Season 1: Damnation

Sublime service, made to order.

The Flesh Cartel: an international, multi-billion-dollar black market that trades in lost souls. Or more specifically, their bodies.

Highly organized and frighteningly efficient, the Flesh Cartel could teach even the KGB a thing or two about breaking a human mind. Fortunately for their ultra-rich clients, they’re just as skilled at putting people back together again—as perfect pets, well-trained and eager to please.

 

The Flesh Cartel, Season 2: Fragmentation

Sublime service, made to order.

Nikolai Petrovic is a man of refinement. He collects fine art, enjoys gourmet cuisine, and trains boutique sex slaves for some of the wealthiest—and most morally dubious—men and women in the world.

Charged by a wealthy client to buy a man to train but not break—to shape into a skilled, obedient slave who will yield with hatred rather than love in his eyes—Nikolai finds the perfect raw material in Mathias Carmichael. But there’s a problem: he was auctioned off in a lot with his beautiful younger brother.

 

The Flesh Cartel, Season 3: Transformation

Sublime service, made to order.

With a wedge at last driven between Mat and Dougie Carmichael, courtesy of Nikolai Petrovic’s expert manipulations, the brothers must each accept their new path forward: Dougie, a perfect slave, sweet and obedient and loving. Mat, a tightly reined dog, snarling and snapping but never allowed to bite.

Unfortunately, no transformation, however well planned, is without its growing pains. Mat’s leash is so tight it’s choking him. Dougie is tormented by a little voice inside his head—a fragment of his former self—that he cannot silence.

 

The Flesh Cartel, Season 4: Liberation

Mat and Douglas’s time as Nikolai’s wards is finally drawing to a close. Though torn apart by Nikolai’s machinations, their fates are still inextricably entwined: they’ve been sold to the same cruel master, and are united in their desire to go home. But “home” means two different things to the brothers: for Mat, their little bungalow in Nevada, and for Douglas, a swift return to Nikolai and Roger, the only people he believes still love him.

 


The Flesh Cartel, Season 5: Reclamation

In the exciting final season of the Flesh Cartel . . .

With the help of the FBI, Mat Carmichael has let himself be re-taken by the Flesh Cartel. Objective? Rescue his brother, exact revenge, and destroy the entire organization from the inside.

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About Heidi Belleau

Heidi Belleau was born and raised in small town New Brunswick, Canada. She now lives in Alberta 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!)

Her writing reflects everything she loves: diverse casts of characters, a sense of history and place, equal parts witty and filthy dialogue, the occasional mythological twist, and most of all, love—in all its weird and wonderful forms.

Connect with Heidi: Email: heidi.below.zero@gmail.com

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About Rachel Haimowitz

Rachel Haimowitz is an M/M erotic romance author and the Publisher 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.

Connect with Rachel: Email: rachel@riptidepublishing.com

WEBSITE | TUMBLR | TWITTER | GOODREADS

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Giveaway

If you follow/have been following the tour, you’ll see that one of our tour stops features art by the exceptionally talented Ariaa (y-gallery link). As a special treat for one lucky commenter on our tour, we’re commissioning one more Flesh Cartel-themed image from them . . . and the blog tour grand prize winner gets to pick the scene of their choice! So if you have a favourite scene from the series that you’d like to see brought to life in gorgeous art, now’s your chance! The lucky winner will also receive a $25 gift certificate to Riptide Publishing.

Haven’t read the series yet? We’re also giving away a copy of the first season to five lucky commenters! That’s six fantastic prizes in total!

All you have to do to enter is leave a comment on any stop on the tour. Each comment (up to one per tour stop) counts as its own entry, so the more you comment, the more chances you have to win.

20 comments:

  1. I haven't read this series, I'd love to win it

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  2. Interesting series

    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

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  3. That's one of my favorite erotic fanarts on y-gallery!

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    Replies
    1. Ariaa is SO talented. I would commission them a hundred times if I could!

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  4. It sounds like a heartbreaking read, but one worthwhile. I have a feeling that I"m going to need lots of tissues.

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  5. A need to read series.
    So emotional and amazing seeing inside their heads.
    Great post !!

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  6. love to read this set of books they sounds very interesting jeaninebeaulieu@hotmail.ca

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  7. I have not read this series, but my interest is definitely peaked. Adding to my TBR list. Thanks for an entry into your giveaway.

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  8. I have not as yet read this series. The image is amazing.

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  9. I love the cover. I haven't read this series yet but I'm looking forward to it.

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  10. Oh my what an image. The series sounds interesting though.

    humhumbum AT yahoo DOT com

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  11. I haven't read it yet. Would love to win a copy!
    irma DOT jurejevcic AT amis DOT net

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  12. Would love to win a copy!

    anamaribelcardenas@yahoo.com

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  13. would love to win and read
    PICK ME!!!!

    PicardsMom at yahoo dot com

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  14. this series has always drawn me

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  15. Dang, I don't know how I ever overlooked this series...

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  16. Thanks for following the tour everybody! We're drawing the tour winners today, so good luck to you all! ;) Can't wait to see what the grand prize winner commissions...

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