Monday, March 4, 2013

How I Wrote My Hero by Erika Masten and Giveaway!

Welcome to the first week of the Insatiable Reads Book Tour! Throughout the month of March, there will be 16 stunning authors—first-timers and bestsellers alike!—bringing you their sizzling March releases with naughty guest posts, interviews, exclusive excerpts, and daily giveaways.

To kick off, I've a very special author visiting today. Bestselling author of His, the delightful Erika Masten is on tour with her erotic full-length novel, The Ringmaster: Cirque de Plaisir, and will be revealing a sneak peek of the book, exclusive to Books à la Mode readers. Stay tuned for a chance to win a print copy of the book too! Readers, please help me welcome Erika to the blog!

A Rake Runs Away to the Circus: How The Ringmaster's Domme Hero Came to Be

Sometimes it can be handy having a best friend who was a college English major with a secret love of Regency romances. It was that BFF of mine who introduced me to the rake hero, the historic bad boy of romance, with a sullied reputation and a brooding but sexy demeanor that pushed the limits of propriety. Key to the rake, however, was the way he protected innocents and those he loved behind the scenes, as though he didn’t want anyone to find out that cold heart of his was still alive and well and particularly attached to those who needed a defender.

No surprise that my latest hero, Donovan Haigh, took on the role of rake as soon as I imagined him as the cool, controlling Ringmaster of the luxury traveling BDSM circus that was The Cirque de Plaisir. As the story of the Ringmaster unfolds, it will become apparent that Donovan’s controlling ways are his response to a world without firm boundaries, where fantasy not only blurs reality but molds it. He is a man who has seen the world, lost his greatest loves, and yearned for the security he finds by surrounding himself with people he can care for and count upon to trust and obey him.

And that’s when shy but determined Olivia Keane auditions for the role of the Ringmaster’s slave—for performance purposes only—and starts to make a mess of Donovan’s rules and routines. Take a look...

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 insatiable passions.

Click "read more" for an excerpt you can only find here, as well as a giveaway!

Was the kiss part of the act? An improvisation born of the moment? Who knew? Only one thing was clear, with my senses filled as they were with the man who made me call him Ringmaster: an audition with Donovan Haigh was better than any sex I’d ever had.

It seemed like we kissed for fifteen or twenty minutes, though that was an absurd idea. Surely someone—Gwynne—would have stopped us, cleared their throats, snickered even. No, it was just that a few moments at the mercy of Donovan Haigh’s mouth were worth an hour with anyone else. When he lifted his face from mine, I should have been too shy to look him in those impossibly bright eyes or at that vaguely dimpled smile only hinted at along the corners of his sensual lips. But I wanted to see… Was his skin as flushed as mine felt? Was his breath this hard, this thick? And the growl I’d heard in the back of his throat—was that all for show, or had he worked himself up as badly as he done to me?

What I saw was a soft, blue sky gaze blinking almost tenderly down at me for only a moment before the hard glint returned to the Ringmaster’s eyes. Haigh helped me to my feet with patience and care before retrieving his whip from the floor and stepping back a pronounced distance from me. He had only just opened his mouth to speak when a chorus of wolf whistles and the low patter of applause pulled him up short.

Flushed with the embarrassment of realizing it had only felt as though the world had shrunk down to the two of us, I turned my head to find everyone in the room staring at us, at me.

About the Author

Erika Masten is the girl next door with an unexpected wicked streak (and an addiction to sexy high heels). She loves turning forbidden desires and secret fantasies into erotic tales with literary flare and a dirty mouth. You can find her online on:

Erika and her full-length erotic romance, The Ringmaster, are currently on virtual tour with 15 other awesome romance authors as part of the Insatiable Reads Book Tour. From March 4th-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.

To enter the giveaways and meet the other writers, you can follow the tour on the following sites:


I just fell over dead! DEAAd. Donovan needs to get in my pants NOW—absolutely irresistible, Erika my dear! 

One lucky Books à la Mode commenter will get the chance to submit to seduce taste read about Donovan!!! To whomever it turns out to be: ya lucky bitch! To enter, all you have to do is tell us what your favorite romance subgenre is and why in the comments below :) I wanna hear what you've got! We want thoughtful, relevant responses, here... comments like "Historical, thanks for the giveaway" and "I don't know, but great excerpt" will not be eligible for the contest!

In fact, the commenter with the best or most convincing response—judged by both Erika and I—will take home the prize. So make your words count!

Mine would be erotic thrillers—think Maya Banks—or dark/taboo romance à la Carrie's Story by Molly Weatherfield or Innocents by Cathy Coote. I like hot sex combined with danger and suspense, as well as the highly depraved, deeply tragic love stories that are impossible from the beginning, and devastating in the end.

What's yours?

Rules and Disclosure:
Giveaway ends March 31st at 11.59 (your time).
Open internationally! Woohooo!
Winners have 48 hours to claim their prize once they are chosen, or else their prize will be forfeited and a new winner will be chosen.
Although I do select winners, I am in no way responsible for prizes, nor for shipping and handling.
As a reminder, you do not have to follow my blog to enter, though it is always very much appreciated ❤ Please show your gratitude and follow Erika or the tour in some way, as she has been generous enough to provide this fabulous prize.
Good luck!