Day 4 – Kallypso Masters

Josee, thanks for inviting me to join you in celebrating the season! I love giving away books and hearing from readers!

For me, I celebrate Christmas, which has always been magical for me, in large part because of the sacrifices my parents made to make it so for their seven children. We never had a lot, but we always had a special gift, games to play with each other, stockings stuffed with candy, nuts, and the treasured tangerine, and a kitchen filled with home-baked cookies. (German springerles and delicate oatmeal lace cookies remain my favorites and no Christmas gathering is complete without them in my family.)

EXCERPT

Here’s an excerpt from the Christmas scene in Nobody’s Perfect, the fourth book in my Rescue Me series. To set up the scene, incest survivor Savi ran to Denver two weeks before Christmas to escape once more her abusive father and his business partner, Lyle, who had beaten her and threatened her daughter, Mari. This Christmas morning, there are lots of surprises in store for Savi and Marisol (her daddy uses her full name, Marisol).

nobodys perfect FINAL 4-23-12

“Maman, did Santa come yet? Daddy said he would find me all the way in Colorado.”

Savi groaned to herself. Damn Damián for making promises like that. All of Marisol’s gifts were back at their house in Solana Beach. Savi had found a few things at a local thrift shop and a discount store this week, but there was nothing nearly as nice as the toys she’d purchased over the last six months with whatever remained from each paycheck. All had been left behind when she’d had to run. Savi damned her bastard father once more, this time for ruining Christmas for her daughter. She hoped he would rot in hell one day soon.

“Maman. Are you awake?”

“Yes, baby. Just resting my eyes.” Savi blinked several times, stalling for time. “Feliz Navidad, sweetheart. Why don’t we go fix Dami…Daddy some breakfast before we open presents?”

Savi still couldn’t get used to calling Damián “Daddy,” but her daughter certainly had no problem latching onto the name from the night they’d explained to her that Damián was her father. Heck, Mari had called him that even before she’d known there was a biological connection.

Not having experienced a father’s love, Savi wasn’t sure how to analyze the bond forming between the two of them. She’d fought hard not to impede their relationship, but she still kept a watchful eye on them. Men could change, just as her father had done when Savi was eight. Watching Mari’s face light up whenever Damián called her his little doll or teased her about something made Savi long for that kind of love and acceptance.

Right now, though, she watched the light go out of Mari’s eyes, because mean old Maman wouldn’t let her dive into the mountains of presents she expected to find under the tree they’d decorated together last week. Mari’s disappointment would only grow worse when they went into the living room and saw that Santa hadn’t really found her in Colorado, after all.

“Can I look under the tree before we go to the kitchen?”

Savi swallowed against the lump in her throat. “May I?” Savi prompted, still hoping to postpone the inevitable.

Mari sat up on her heels and stared down at Savi. “May I look, Maman? May I?”

Savi tossed the blanket off and fought back a moan as she swung her legs over the side of the bed. She sat until she could get the pain in her side under control. She still couldn’t believe that Lyle had broken her rib.

“Please, Maman?”

Not sure she could stand to see the disappointment coming, Savi nodded and let Mari scamper off the bed, get into the wooly slippers she’d gotten at Marc’s outfitter store, and pad to the door. It was still dark outside, but when she opened the door to the living room, the lights of the Christmas tree illuminated the bedroom. Damián certainly had used a lot of lights on the little tree. The smell of fresh spruce wafted to her. The tree they’d cut was so much more beautiful than anything Savi would have found back home. Mari had been half-asleep when Damián had carried her into the apartment after they’d returned home from midnight Mass not so many hours ago, but he had turned the lights on for her to see before they tucked her into bed. He was sweet to leave the tree on all night for their daughter, in case she got up and peeked.

Their daughter. She couldn’t wrap her mind around having to share Mari with anyone.

The squeal she heard from Mari set off warning bells and Savi rose more quickly than she should have. After regaining her equilibrium—and breath—she held her side as she hurried into the living room. Her eyes opened as wide as Mari’s at the sight. Around the tree were dozens of gifts—including an enormous wooden dollhouse Mari was checking out at the moment. Many of the other gifts were wrapped, but there were so many more than the few Savi had placed there. She looked over to find a bare-chested Damián sitting up on the sofa, a sappy grin on his face as he took in the experience of his first Christmas with his daughter.

“How did you…?”

He turned toward her shaking his head as he placed a finger against his lips. Savi rubbed her chest to ease the unexpected ache there.

“Maman, Daddy was right. Santa did find us! Look what he brought me!” Her daughter peeked inside the dollhouse shaped like a log cabin and began moving tiny pieces of furniture around. The look of awe and wonder on her face reminded Savi how resilient children could be. Her whole world had been upended two weeks ago, but this morning, all was right in her little girl’s world because Santa hadn’t forgotten her. Savi blinked against a burning in her eyes. An image of a past Christmas flitted across her mind.

 “Maman! Look what Santa brought me. Barbie’s house!”

 Maman, dressed in her maroon silk robe, sipped hot tea and watched seven-year-old Savannah open her presents. Father read the newspaper, disconnected from the females in the scene, but Maman’s brown eyes shone with happiness. Maman loved Christmas more than any other holiday.

 “Open another present, chére. What else did Père Noël bring you?”

 The blonde-headed little girl pulled another box from under the enormous tree and opened it to find a Holiday Barbie doll in a sparkling green-velvet gown. A big bow was set at an angle on the doll’s blonde head. She looked like a princess, without a tiara.

Her mind flashed forward to what might have been the next Christmas…

The little girl crawled under her bed, clutching the blond-haired princess in her hands, trying to hide from Father…

The pad of Damián’s thumb brushed against her cheek, and Savi nearly came out of her skin.

“Whoa, querida.” Damián reached out to steady her, grabbing her by the upper arms.

Savi looked up at him, drawing a few ragged breaths as she fought to regain control. His hands were so strong. For one weak moment, she wished she could lean on him, but she needed to pull away instead. She followed the instincts that had kept her safe for so long.

His look of hurt made her feel guilty after all he’d done for them, but she wasn’t ready to have any man touching her. She’d never give her body to another man, especially not as payment for services offered. Never again.

“You were a million miles away.”

She blinked and wondered where that flashback had come from. She hadn’t thought of those Christmas memories in…forever. Even now, Savi felt as if she was watching a scene from a Christmas classic movie, not remembering a part of her own life. No, not her life. Savannah’s. All emotional ties to that tragic little girl had been severed for a very long time.

“You okay, Savi?”

She nodded, but needed to put some distance between them. “What can I fix you for breakfast? Pancakes? Mari’s probably hungry.”

“She won’t be thinking about food for a while.” He studied Savi’s face with concern in his eyes, and she had the feeling he was seeing more than he should. “You sure you’re okay? You look like you’ve seen a ghost.”

Savannah’s Maman disappeared when she was eight. The little girl’s spirit died soon after, right after her father molested her and began more than a decade of abuse and torture on the innocent little girl’s body and mind.

The only person in the flashback scene who had survived unscathed was Savannah’s father—and she wished she could send him and all monsters like him to the pits of hell where she could watch them burn.

* * *

Well, at least he’d brought a smile to the face of one of his girls this Christmas morning. Damián tried to hide his disappointment. Last week, when he’d heard Marisol chatter to Santa at the mall about the things she wanted to receive, he’d gone to work trying to make his daughter’s Christmas dreams come true. That Josefina doll had taken a chunk out of his dwindling checking account.

He’d hoped Marisol’s happiness would bring a little joy to her mama, too, but no such luck.

Clearly, Savi wasn’t interested in anything he had to offer. The look on her face made it obvious the holiday wasn’t as special for her as it was for him. Maybe sad memories from her past clouded the joy of the season for her. The holidays weren’t happy for lots of people. Adam, well, Dad now, for years had gone into a funk in the fall until he got through the holidays. Damián hoped he and Karla were making new memories this Christmas morning to replace the sad ones.

While he didn’t think he could do anything to change Savi’s state of mind, Damián was determined for Marisol to have nothing but pleasant memories, and he was ready to start celebrating.

He’d never managed to go to sleep last night partly because of his excitement at seeing Marisol’s face in the morning and partly because he’d had a helluva lot of toys to assemble. When Luke Denton, a new member at the club and Marc’s SAR partner, had texted him to come down to the parking lot, he’d helped the carpenter carry up the log-cabin dollhouse he’d made for Marisol. Luke, also an artist, must have worked on the house night and day all week. He’d heard about Marisol from Marc and, like a man on a mission, wanted to help make her first Christmas special. Damián had been blown away by the gesture.

Today, Damián had a lot planned, including playing Legos again with Marisol. He hoped he’d connect with Savi on common ground at some point.

Masters at Arms cover FINAL 8-10-11

My series is not a stand-alone one. The FREE introduction and first book in the series is Masters at Arms (a 58,000-word novel told in five vignettes showing major turning points in the life of each man, and two of the future heroines in the series, as well as how the three men bonded in a firefight in Fallujah).

Next is Marc and Angelina’s story in Nobody’s Angel, but Adam and Karla’s journey toward each other is a major part of that book, which is why it’s important not to skip ahead. These romances can’t be contained within the bindings of a single book. Third is Adam and Karla’s continuing story in Nobody’s Hero, which includes a major subplot with Damian and Savannah (now Savi).

Then comes the fourth story in the series, Nobody’s Perfect, telling in a realistic way how much time and patience it takes for an incest survivor to learn to trust a man and to fight her way back to being whole again. Damian and Savannah met as 19-year-olds and formed a bond that resulted in the birth of Marisol, but circumstances separated them after only one day together until Savannah/Savi met him by chance in Nobody’s Hero. The book is someone controversial in that Damian will use sadomasochism to help Savi heal. This sounds incongruous to those not familiar with the BDSM community, but is based on many interactions I’ve had with submissives who were abused in the past and find healing in the kink community.

While I write an erotic romance series centered around the owners of a kink club, it’s very much the story of the men and the women they love and the family they are forming in their community. The characters don’t go from kinky scene to kinky scene. In fact, there are few club scenes in the first three books in the series. Many who’ve never read a BDSM story, or have read ones that leave them horrified that people can engage in such activities, come away with a new appreciation and understanding of this alternative lifestyle. As one reader said, the stories show that it’s not about the kink, but how kinksters form a community to help each other put their demons to rest. It’s all about loving and supporting each other.

GIVEAWAY

Please share a comment describing a special memory from this time of year (no matter which holiday you celebrate, or even if you don’t celebrate religiously but secularly). One lucky commenter, chosen at random, will receive a copy of an e-book in the Rescue Me series—one that’s already published, or book five, Somebody’s Angel, due out in early 2013. You’ll also receive something in the mail including a Kallypso purple pen, booksmarks, and Romance Trading Cards for the first three books in the series.

This drawing will take place on or after December 12th and the winner will be announced in the comments. Please be sure to leave an e-mail address so we can contact you for your book preference and mailing address.

To learn more about the books in this series, or for buy links to the seven booksellers that carry my books, go to Books by Kallypso Masters

If you get hooked, after you catch up with all available books in the series, join in my discussion group on Facebook—Rescue Me Series Open Discussion. I’m all about Facebook and rarely venture into other social media forums (although I occasionally use Twitter), so the best place to find me online is on Facebook.

Kallypso Masters portrait 2012-Candace shot 1 lowres

Here are some of my links to help you find me online:

Website: http://www.kallypsomasters.com/ (sign up for my newsletter here)

Blog: http://kallypsomasters.blogspot.com/

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/kallypsomasters, https://www.facebook.com/KallypsoMastersAuthorPage, and the series discussion group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/282370991862753/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/kallypsomasters

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Kallypso-Masters/e/B007WUQPOQ

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28 Responses to Day 4 – Kallypso Masters

  1. suzlyne says:

    My favorite memories of Christmas was making peppernut cookies with my mom. Her recipe came from a German friend and made a lot of the little nuggets. I don’t care for the taste of anise but dad loved those cookies and it was something special mom and I did for him every year. Both of my parents are gone so I don’t make them any more but I still cherish the memories. Thanks for the giveaway and Merry Christmas!
    suz2(at)cox(dot)net

  2. Annie Beaudry says:

    We didn’t have a lot of money growing up on a farm but somehow my parents always made Christmas for each of us 5 kids. One year my sister and I were thrilled to get new baby dolls. The big surprise was that Daddy had also made cradled for them. That was one of my favorite Christmas ever!

  3. Becki Wyer says:

    I love spending time with my family and watching the kids unwrap their gifts. I love how the kids throw the wrapping and cards away before the moms can even see who the gifts are from lol.
    rmwyer at shaw dot ca

  4. joannemoy69 says:

    I love it when we head over to my parents place, 3 kids plus partners between us we have 11 grand-kids & 2 Great Grand-kids. The house is full & there are tents in the yard! On Christmas Day there is paper everywhere & then we have the relo’s come from a near by town its a great time to catch up with everyone!
    Thank You So Much For Your Great Stories & I can’t wait until book 5 comes out ” Some Body’s angel”!
    I Hope U Have A Wonderful Christmas With All Of Your Family!
    joanne(dot)moy(at)hotmail(dot)com

  5. Meredith Bowery says:

    My favorite Christmas memory was the first Christmas that I got to spend with my older brohter. I met him once when I was about 8 and then didn’t see him again until 2 years ago. We got to spend our first Christmas with him and it was such a blessing to have him there!

  6. Lisa Sarchie-Casamassima says:

    My favorite Christmas memories are of my kids first Christmas’. My bio son was almost one when it was his first Christmas, so it was funny to watch him play with all the boxes instead of the gifts themselves!!! My 4 other children all come from China and came home at older ages. Watching their faces light up when they realized that the presents under the tree were for them and only them was priceless. I can’t wait for Christmas to see how our newest daughter reacts.

  7. Fran Swarts says:

    My favorite memories of Christmas are with my Great Grandmother who has been gone 23 years now as of today. We would all go to church and she would give baked goods to the neighbors, we would have a huge dinner. I was a happy and it was a simple time, one I treasure to this day.

  8. Kathy Lewis says:

    Well my son (4 yr) loves to make cookies. We make cookies for Santa and all our neighbors on our street. We go to door to door and wish everyone a peace holiday. He loves to put cookies and milk out of Santa.

  9. Sherri Singleton says:

    My husband and I got married young and had our children young too. Needless to say we never had enough money to cover everything but somehow we always managed to get that one special gift that they were wanting from Santa. Since there weren’t many packages under the tree, we found ways to make the magic last on Christmas morning with the “special gift” last. One particular Christmas we did a treasure hunt for it. The kids had to follow the clues all over the house, outside, in the car, in the dryer (our house isn’t very big), we ran them all over following the little slips of paper clues. We laughed and laughed at them and with them. When they finally found the gift, they cried they were so happy. They still talk about that Christmas and the oldest is 30 now. I miss those days of hiding presents in the closet, in the trunk, all over the place to keep them from finding out what Santa was bringing. We were quite clever and they never knew until Christmas morning. There is something about having children in the house at Christmas time!

    Thanks for letting me re-live that memory and for the contest. Merry Christmas!

  10. One of my favorite memories from Christmas…I must have been about 7 or 8….that was the year that I got a cookie monster beanie toy. I have no idea why it meant so much to me….but it did. I remember thinking I was all grown up and then I turned around and told my mom I was going to take a nap! Good Grief!!

    I actually have a cookie monster beanie toy at home…but I have relegated it to being my granddaughters….she absolutely loves it….and so it passes on to the next generation! 🙂

    Hope you and your have an absolutely wonderful Christmas filled with lots of love, family and friends!

  11. Oh Kally…I have yet to read Nobody’s Perfect and my heart is breaking for Damian and Savi…they have such a long road ahead of them! I need to hustle up so I can read it! 😉

    As for a great Christmas memory. I am going to think maybe the one my family spent with me up in Montreal, Quebec. They arrived a couple of days before Christmas and we had a great time seeing the sights then on Christmas eve it snowed and made the city so beautiful. We spent time with good friends and had a wonderful time.

  12. Claire says:

    One of my special memories of Christmas is of my grandma when she came to stay with us. Us kids were not allowed to open our presents until grandma was up and dressed and she had eaten her breakfast. So we sort of helped her with her morning routine. She wore an old style corset with hundreds of hooks and eyes down the side, my sister and I used to help her do them all up! She always ate porridge in a morning so we used to blow on it to cool it down so she could eat it quicker and we could get to open our presents. She’s been gone a long time now but never forgotten.
    Thanks for the giveaway. Merry Christmas to you and your family Kally.

  13. Pamela Snyder says:

    One of my most cherished memories of Christmas was when I was around 7 years old. It was the last normal Christmas as a child that I can remember before my father became too ill, and died a year and a few months later from Hodgkin’s Disease. Although our parents were divorced, they lived across the street from one another to keep us children close to them both. They always made sure our time together was special; and that particular year we (my siblings and I) had gotten everything we asked for, but as we were running out the door to go show our grandparents all of our cherished gifts, we nearly tripped over the new bikes that awaited our surprise.
    The day only continued to progress with the gathering of family to partake in massive amounts of homemade foods and wonderful conversations to share and cherish for years to come. I have not thought about that day for a very long time. Although I am filled with tears as I re-live it now, it was a very happy and special time that I will always be thankful for. It is and was a wonderful memory! Thanks for letting me share! Merry Christmas to all!

  14. Siera says:

    Christmas 2008 was my most memorable Christmas ever because it was the last Christmas my mother was alive. She passed away on January 15 2009 from cancer. My parents gifted me with love every day of my life and as a child I have some very memorable times, but Christmas 2008 was the last time my mother and I made Christmas dinner together; a tradition we’d shared since I became an adult.

  15. Lisa w says:

    I love watching the kids (young & old) at Christmas! The pure honest joy of friends & family!
    modularmates(at)comcast(dot)net

  16. bn100 says:

    I enjoyed having Thanksgiving this year with all my family and friends.

    bn100candg(at)hotmail(dot)com

  17. Kimmie Kim says:

    My mother worked at a home for displaced children as a cook when I was growing up. She would stay overnight on Christmas Eve and cook breakfast, lunch and dinner for the children before heading home across town to spend the late afternoon and evening with my sister and myself. I remember standing at the window every Christmas waiting for her to come home and enjoy the dinner we had prepared for her.

  18. Belinda Hunter says:

    Four years ago I got to experience the joy of being a mom on Christmas. My boys were 8 & 6 but had came from every rough upbringing. When they woke up and peeked over the banister, their eyes were huge and smiles that melted my heart. I was able to know what true Christmas Spirit was all about. When they wrote their wish list out for Santa I had encouraged them to list many things. I told them that sometimes Santa is short on one thing so it has to be replaced with another. Yes, I fibbed to them because they not only hot what was on their list but many other gifts. That memory will be forever burned into my heart 🙂
    bhunter (at) hotmail (dot) com

  19. Lisa Simo-Kinzer says:

    My favorite memory is my brothers first Christmas home after serving in the Army for four years. The previous two years my mom and I had taken pains to send him a small (18 inch) decorated tree to his base in Iraq during his deployment during Desert Storm because we knew we wouldn’t be able to call or talk to him like we had his first two years in the military. We grew closer while he was away (we fought continuously growing up) and I’ll forever remember us acting like goofballs on Christmas morning the first time we were together for the holidays as a family after his return. Did I mention I was 26 and he was 22 and we both acted like we were 10 year olds giggling and laughing and horsing around. lmsk@me.com

  20. June M. says:

    My favorite holiday memory was going to my grandparents house every Christmas Eve. Everyone would gather, all their children & in-laws, grandkids, great grandkids, and generally a few other relatives/friends. After dinner and before present exchanging, everyone would gather and my grandfather would read the story of the first Christmas from his Bible. This is the 7th Christmas since he passed away and I am thankful to have many years on DVD, but it is just not the same.

    Oh, anyone who has not read Kally’s books needs to do it now! They are great!
    June
    manning_J2004 at yahoo dot com

  21. Mandy says:

    Some of my favorite Christmas memories are when the entire family would get together. That was rare since there were so many of us. I have VHS tapes of those special times. We would play Christmas music and I would read (very slowly since I was 7) Christmas stories. I miss those times but they will always hold a special place in my heart.

  22. One year we couldn’t afford gifts for our three kids..and my sister bought them “Santa” gifts”..two years latter when they needed the same help..we were able to do it for their 2 girls.

  23. Adrienne says:

    When I was a child, I remember my Grandpa sending me pajamas every year for Christmas. Even though I never hardly saw him, it was such a joy to open his present on Christmas morning. Didn’t realize how much I enjoyed those pajamas until one year, guess he thought I was getting to big to send jammies to, he sent me a soccer ball (I think it was.) Boy was I upset that I didn’t get my pajamas! LOL

  24. Cathy V says:

    I met my now husband, 6 years ago on December 21st. The excitement of a whirlwind romance and the Christmas season was overwhelming and a bit crazy, but very special.
    kitcat76(at)hotmail.com

  25. Julie C. says:

    One of my fondest memories of Christmas is when I was a little girl I could not wait for the day that we would load up in my parents car and drive to Napa, CA from San Diego county to spend Christmas with my grandmother. My dad would drive and I would sit on the seat behind him and my Mom, sister and brothers (2) would always fall asleep, My dad would always tell me a story while I massaged his shoulders and keep him company while he was driving. The stories always had trains in them because I would get so excited whenever we would see them while driving up to Napa.

  26. aubery Oldewurtel says:

    So far this year my favorite memory was getting together with my family and baking cookies. We me at my sisters house with all the jimmies and sprinkles we could carry and we baked and decorated and then baked some more. At the end of it we have lots and lots of cookies. I enjoy the tradition, its simple, but its spent with family

  27. Elizabeth says:

    my family is big and boisterous and on christmas eve it becomes even more so…we decorate the tree, eat, drink, exhcange pollyanna gifts and talk about anything and everything

    bnbhb@hotmail.com

  28. Leagh says:

    Hey everyone! This is Leagh, Kallypso Masters’ assistant. I am here to pick a winner. So without further ado our winner is….

    June M

    Congrats June! I will be contacting your shortly =)

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