Author Name: Kate Lowell
Book Name: Flesh Market
Release Date: November 10, 2015
Pages or Words: 75,000 words (pre-edits)
Categories: Contemporary, Crime Fiction, Fiction, Gay Fiction, M/M Romance, Romance, Thriller
Publisher: Loose ID
Cover Artist: April Martinez
Hi, I’m Kate Lowell! Thanks for joining me on the Flesh Market tour, or what I’ve come to call “The blog tour that will forever make you question your view of the world around you”. I know it did that for me. Tons of research that went into this book. So many books, so many articles, and over the course of the tour, I’m going to share some of that research, and some of my sources with you. (Please be gentle—it was extremely difficult to condense all that info down to a reasonable sized blog post for each topic. I could have gone on ad nauseum—and honestly, some of the reading was nauseating.) One lucky winner will get to choose any one book from the ones I’ve highlighted through the tour, and I’ll send it to them. (Caveat: I won’t necessarily send the cheapest version of a book, but I do need to keep my pocketbook in mind. And some books may only be available used, or in electronic format. We’ll talk when you win. )
Post 1 – The Bastinado
The bastinado is a form of punishment or torture in which the soles of the bare feet are beaten with a rod of varying thickness. I first came across this in an old Western, believe it or not, which had been written probably forty years ago now. The cover of the book I read was worn, and I think it might have been my father’s. I don’t remember much else about the book, except that the hero was tied face down with the soles of his feet exposed and his feet were beaten, then he was left there, presumably to die. (Obviously, he didn’t. After all, he was the hero. 🙂 )
But the bastinado is a very real thing, and actually exists in several different incarnations. It is indeed a known act in certain parts of the BDSM community—you can find videos on Youtube and elsewhere showing it in action. In the South, it was used on slaves as a means of punishment which didn’t cause visible bruising or mar the appearance of the slave. This was particularly important for female slaves with a high market value—the owner would beat the soles of the slave’s foot, where scarring was unlikely, in order to preserve her value for later sale.
It was widely used in many countries, including European ones, up until the sixties. While not as widespread now, it still exists in pockets, primarily the Middle East and Africa.
Depending on how the victim is restrained, they may or may not suffer serious damage. In a situation where the feet are completely immobilized, damage is minimal, though studies have shown that victims of the bastinado show lower pain thresholds anywhere in their body for years after the torture. The version more commonly used in the Middle East–called the falaka–does not immobilize the feet, and broken toes and other injuries can result as the victim’s feet move.
In Flesh Market, this is how Julian is immobilized, and our major bad guy, DeGraff, tells him not to move, or he’d be working with broken toes. In much the same way as female slaves were treated in the south, the trafficking ring wants to punish without decreasing the value of their product. So Julian is beaten on a part of his body that doesn’t bruise, and causes agonizing pain, as the ring begins the process of breaking him.
Recommended Read: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foot_whipping for a start, and some pictures.
Special Agent Leo Gale is up a creek. A year and a half of deep cover is about to go up in flames. He needs help – something, someone to salvage the operation and save the lives of untold numbers of trafficked teenagers.
But he wasn’t expecting the partner they sent, or his own gut-punch of a response to the man.
Julian worked hard for that FBI Honors Internship. It was supposed to be a foot in the door. He’d never expected it to catapult him into the middle of a major undercover operation. Yet here he is, sleeping on a filthy mattress and using every trick in the book to avoid torture—and worse. He’s never felt so scared, or so alive, in his entire life, and he’s not sure if it’s the danger, or Leo, that’s making his heart race.
There’s no time to think about it, though. The operation is heating up, and Leo and Julian are running out of time and options. As choices become more difficult, they must find a way to take the traffickers down, or risk becoming just another set of organs for sale.
Inside the bathroom, DeGraff peered behind the door and moved an OUT OF SERVICE FOR CLEANING sign from the back to the front.
Julian was at the sink at the far end of the room, staring into the mirror with water dripping off his face. DeGraff stepped into one of the stalls, and Leo went to wash his hands at one of the other sinks. Julian glanced up at him, then tore off some paper towel and wiped his face dry. He tossed the towel in the overflowing garbage can and slunk past Leo with all the angsty self-consciousness of a hormonal teenager.
Leo wished he had time to appreciate the performance, but he had a job to do. As Julian passed him, Leo spun and grabbed him from behind, pinning Julian’s arms to his side and covering his mouth. Julian made a startled noise, muffled by Leo’s hand, and began to thrash. He kicked Leo painfully in the shin, but by then DeGraff was out of the stall and had jabbed his syringe into Julian’s shoulder. Leo fought the young man down to the floor while DeGraff stood watch by the bathroom door. Five tense minutes later, Julian was completely spaced out, limp as a rag in Leo’s arms.
Meet the author:
Kate lives on the east coast of Canada, in an old farmhouse in the middle of nowhere. She has one horse now, who still has medical issues, and three cats, all of which still have mental issues. She still refuses to get a dog, because who knows what would be wrong with it?
Kate loves to read and write. She also likes playing with computers and is going back to school to do a programming degree, just for giggles. Or the opportunity to take over the world. (Oh, who are we kidding? Think of all the work that would mean.) She also likes pictures of pretty men and keeps many of them on her computer. (The pictures, not the men.) She would dearly love a cabana boy to mow her lawn and maybe rub her shoulders after a long day of making men fall in love with each other, then cackling evilly and raining frustration and danger on them.
3-Nov: Jessie G. Books, KathyMac Reviews
4-Nov: BFD Book Blog,
5-Nov: Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, MM Good Book Reviews
6-Nov: The Blogger Girls, Sinfully Addicted to All Male Romance
9-Nov: Cheekypee Reads and Reviews
10-Nov: Release Day Book Blast!
Parker Williams, Bayou Book Junkie, The Hat Party, Decadent Delights, Nephy Hart, Andrew Q. Gordon, BFD Book Blog, MM Good Book Reviews, KathyMac Reviews, Dawn’s Reading Nook, Gay Book Reviews, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents, Bonkers About Books, Charley Descoteaux, Sassygirl Books, Chris McHart, The Day Before You Came, The Fuzzy, Fluffy World of Chris T. Kat, Moonbeams Over Atlanta, Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews, Nautical Star Books, Alpha Book Club, Iyana Jenna
11-Nov: Divine Magazine, Hearts on Fire, QUEERcentric Books
12-Nov: Kimi-Chan, Love Bytes, Havan Fellows
13-Nov: Happily Ever Chapter, Bayou Book Junkie
16-Nov: Inked Rainbow Reads
17-Nov: Elisa – My Reviews and Ramblings, My Fiction Nook
Rafflecopter Prize: E-book copy of one of the recommended reads Kate used in her research for Flesh Market.
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