Monday, November 5, 2012

Guest Post & Giveaway: The Flesh Cartel: Auction (What's Next)

I am once again exited to have Rachel & Heidi stopping by and dishing about their explosive and controversial new serial "The Flesh Cartel". They even brought a fantastic giveaway, and I am wondering "why the hell are you guys so lucky in getting freaking swag!". I am epicly  jealous and am wondering if I can enter the giveaway y/y :D

Hi everyone! Heidi Belleau and Rachel Haimowitz here, sharing the inside scoop on the latest episode of our serial fiction thriller The Flesh Cartel, “Auction,” now available from Riptide Publishing. Pants Off Reviews has become our unofficial host for The Flesh Cartel, so we’re thrilled to share some exclusive details here about the next season of The Flesh Cartel, Fragmentation, starting January 2013!

We’ve brought a special prize with us to celebrate the release of Auction—one lucky commenter will win a swag pack stuffed with The Flesh Cartel gear! To enter, simply comment on this post in the comments section below before midnight on Sunday, 11/11. Be sure to include your email address so we can contact you if you are the chosen winner.

Please note--this interview contains (vague) spoilers. We’re going to answer some of the questions that have been on readers’ minds since the moment they started reading The Flesh Cartel. If you prefer not to know what lies ahead for Mat and Dougie, don’t read any further!

The Flesh Cartel contains a lot of violence. Tell us—will things get more torturous for Mat and Dougie, or will they get a little bit of downtime?

No, no downtime at all. Not even a little bit. However, the way they’re tortured definitely changes; as Nikolai would tell you quite vehemently if you asked, he’s, and we quote, “not a rapist.” (Seriously though, he totally is. There’s some major cognitive dissonance going on in that man’s head, the reasons for which we’ll get to . . . eventually.) In upcoming episodes, brute force gets traded for subtle (and sometimes not so subtle) psychological and emotional manipulation. And each brother experiences that manipulation very differently.

Do we see any more of Nikolai, the man we briefly glimpse at the beginning of episode 1?

Yes. Nikolai will be back. Rather quite a lot in Season 2, in fact.

Will there be any new sympathetic characters?

In a way, Nikolai himself is quite a sympathetic character. Or at least he will be if we’ve done our jobs right. He adheres quite strictly to a very clear set of rules and morals that all make perfect sense in his head, and at times comes across as kind and strong and even loving--which at times he genuinely is. Make no mistake--Nikolai is one of several villains of the piece, but it’s not a black and white situation, and there are reasons for his worldview that, when revealed, may make you sympathize for him against your will.

You also meet a couple of other characters who are (or have been) in the same predicament as Mat and Dougie. First there’s a glimpse of a young woman going through exactly what they’re going through, and then later, an older man who may or may not be an eerie specter of what’s to come . . .

Are the both of you (Heidi and Rachel) nervous about the release of this next installment? More-so than episode one? Less so?

Rachel: I think I’m a lot calmer about this one. In a way, the “worst” of it--at least in terms of the overt brutality--is over in episode 1. If you’ve made it that far, you should be just fine with the rest of the series, although what starts to happen in Season 2 is so much more insidious and terrifying (to me at least) than what happens in Season 1.

Heidi: I think every release comes with a certain amount of jitters, more so when you’re releasing something as boundary-pushing and polarizing as this. Especially after Amazon giving us the boot, the journey hasn’t been all roses and daisies. However, the amount of support we received in the wake of the whole Amazon fiasco, even among people who really AREN’T our audience for this book--people for whom the content is objectionable or just too extreme--is really heartening. So I’m trying to think about that in amongst the paralyzing thoughts of AHH PEOPLE ARE GOING TO THINK I’M A SERIAL KILLER. [Rachel: She isn’t. *shifty-eyes*]

So do the boys get a happy ending eventually?

It’ll take them four to five seasons to get there, but they will get a, um, not-unhappy ending? No, that’s probably not fair; though they will both be irrevocably changed by their experiences, the series will absolutely end on a positive note for both of them. Will it be a traditional Romance HEA? Well, this isn’t a romance, so draw your own conclusions from that! Hopefully it will be satisfying no matter what.

But will they get their revenge?

All I’m saying is, Mat’s training is all about teaching him behaviors without breaking his spirit: in fact, it’s all calculated to make him feel hate more intensely. And he’s locked up with a whole bunch of boxing equipment to keep physically fit. And they’ve been hurting his little brother, often right in front of him. Who knows what a man like that may wind up doing when he gets the chance . . .

Blurb: In episode two of The Flesh Cartel, the dark purpose behind Mat and Dougie Carmichael’s abduction is revealed. Though Dougie is protected from the worst of the guards’ brutality, he’s disgusted to find himself halfway to broken—despairing of escape and terrified of pain. Mat holds onto hope despite repeated rapes and beatings, but threats toward his brother teach him well to lay aside his pride and pick his battles carefully.

Worn down by days of unrelenting fear and abuse, Mat and Dougie are packaged and marketed with the same ruthless efficiency as any consumer product: Dougie the prettyboy twink, Mat the rabid pit bull. They are led to the auction block as the showpiece of the house’s collection.

Mat would rather be beaten to death than play the role of obedient slave for sale, but Dougie, desperate not to be separated from his brother, strikes a deal with the pitiless Madame who
runs the auction house and controls both their fates. It might just be enough to keep them together—slaves, but together—assuming Mat even wants to be after Dougie fulfills his end of his deal with the devil.

Author Bios:

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, or visit her blog:


  • Leave a Comment with email
  • Must be 18yrs or older
  • Winner has 48hrs to reply to my email or another winner gets chosen
  • Giveaway runs until November 11th 11:59pm EST


  1. I stayed up late last night to FINALLY read it. (I had to finish Power Play: Awakening first, you see) and Episode 2 was just as gut-churning, heart-rending and horrifyingly fascinating as Episode 1. There was even a brief instant where I totally hated Dougie and screamed (under my breath because it WAS 1:30 in the morning) at my ereader.

    Total kudos to Heidi and Rachel. There are few authors who could pull this story off, I think and they're doing a stellar job! And it's going to be a LONG WAIT until January. LONG.

    1. Aw, so glad to hear you're enjoying it so much! I'd say I'm sorry you have to wait so long for Episode 3, but I think it's pretty clear that Heidi and I enjoy torturing people ;-p

    2. And you do it so WELL! Thank you for that, ma'am. ;)

  2. Oookay, now that I'm here I see that this is some kind of spoiler fest! No fair! (Yes, I'm determined to experience everything going in "blind". Though I have peeked in the Warnings section... several times. XD )

    Still. I want that T-shirt! ^^

    japoki at

    1. We'll probably drop little spoilers at all our Pants Off posts. But you can always just close your eyes and comment for the swag :)

    2. LOL. Testing my willpower, eh? You're on! :D

  3. Great Interview. I am enjoying this series.


  4. Oooh, I am so gonna get this. It sounds so good.

  5. I want to read this unique story. It has been the talk of the (M/M) town. Congrats to you both, banned books are always worthy of merit, and celebrated!

    brendurbanist at gmail dot com

    1. Heh, thank you. TBH I'd much rather Amazon would carry it, but it's amazing to see all the support from the community--even and especially from people who would never read this story in a million years--in the face of the banning. What a wonderful group of people we've met because of this!

  6. I own the first two episodes now and can't wait to settle down and read them.

    scj_ger [at] yahoo [dot] co [dot] uk

  7. Hi all! Thank you so much for stopping by, and thanks as always to our lovely host for having us. Heidi's on vacation, so she may not be able to stop in much, but I'm here if anyone has any questions for us :)

  8. Congrats on the release! You all mentioned some problems with Amazon. Will these books be available anywhere else? IE, ARe? I am definitely going to have to have these books!
    manning_J2004 at yahoo dot com

    1. Thanks kindly! The books should be available just about everywhere BUT Amazon, who refused to carry the second one also. (The iBookstore probably won't carry them either; they're pretty picky about graphic sex in general.) Both episodes are live at ARe, B&N, Rainbow Ebooks, and Kobo, and either are or will be live at a bunch of places Lightning Source and Overdrive distribute to (Diesel, Sony, etc). And of course the publisher's website (, which is the best place for all parties to get them because you can buy them a lot cheaper there by the season (for instance, season 2 is $8.99 at Riptide, but $12 if you buy the episodes individually at third-party sites), and the authors/publisher don't have to turn over as much as 65% of the purchase price to the retailer.

  9. oh god... this is going to be so freaking intense... I can hardly wait!!! lol...
    Enjoyed the post! ;)


    1. That was actually the primary reason for deciding to serialize these books: it's SO intense that it really is much more easily digested in smaller bits. I hope you enjoy them!

  10. Looking forward to this series...Thank you for the opportunity to win some swag!

    1. Thank you for joining us here today, and good luck with the drawing! If you don't win this time, we'll be here at Pants Off with a little Q&A and new prizes before every episode we release :)

  11. I downloaded episode 2 last night but was too tired to read it - soon :)
    And pre-ordered season 2. I'm sure my fingernails won't like it but episode 1 was so very well written - very dark horror/thriller.

  12. Aw, so glad you enjoyed, and thank you for pre-ordering!

  13. Another to add to my growing list of "must reads" Lord help me, hope I can get enough time to read all these new books I have discovered.

  14. *Grin* I pre-order so I get to read 'em early *bigger grin* and the stories are so intense and dark and shivery that I scare myself. Amazing kudos to both Rachel and Heidi for 'daring' to write this - I LOVE 'em :)

    Hugs & thanks

  15. Great interview..I have not read this one yet and can't wait.

  16. Just recently discovered your books. Amazon should be ashamed of themselves. Absolutely NO excuse for their decision. I love The Flesh Cartel series. As an adult, I am quite capable of choosing my reading materials and of avoiding material I do not like. Thank you so much for writing these intense, raw, and brutally graphic stories. I read them because they are so well written and satisfy my desire to read dark and explicit themes with fully developed and complex characters. I only wish I knew about you and your books earlier. I look forward to episode 3 and future books. Thank you again.

    Denise A


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