The Chateau by Tiffany Reisz
(An Original Sinners Novel)
Publisher: 8th Circle Press
Release Date: June 5, 2018
Genre – Erotic Thriller
Rating: 5 Stars
As the Jack-of-All-Wicked-Trades for a secretive French military intelligence agency, Kingsley Boissonneault has done it all—spied, lied, and killed under orders. But his latest assignment is quite out of the ordinary. His commanding officer’s nephew has disappeared inside a sex cult, and Kingsley has been tasked with bringing him home to safety.
The cult’s holy book is Story of O, the infamous French novel of extreme sado-masochism. Their château is a looking-glass world where women reign and men are their willing slaves. Or are they willing? It’s Kingsley’s mission to find out.
Once inside the château, however, Kingsley quickly falls under the erotic spell cast by the enigmatic Madame, a woman of wisdom, power, and beauty. She offers Kingsley the one thing he’s always wanted. But the price? Giving up forever the only person he’s ever loved.
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WELCOME TO THE CHATEAU:
AN INTERVIEW WITH TIFFANY REISZ
The cult at the center of The Chateau regards Story of O—the infamous French erotic novel—as their “holy book.” When did you first read Story of O?
I was in my 20s. I’d heard about it but never read it. Then I read it while I was in seminary considering joining a religious order. I never joined the religious order, but I’m not sure if that was because of Story of O or not. We’ll leave that to my future biographers to decide.
Inside the cult’s château, women reign and men are their willing slaves. How did the idea for such a community come about?
The French spy Kingsley Boissonneault—who Original Sinners fans may know better as Kingsley Edge—is 24 in this novel. What most surprised you about him at that age?
That Kingsley still has the teeniest, tiniest shard of innocence left in him even after all he’s been through at that age. He’s still a bit of a romantic before life turned him into the incredibly jaded (i.e. French) character we meet in later books. It’s fun that now, in the present day, when Kingsley finally has the love and family he craves, he’s turning back into that more playful, less jaded person he is in The Chateau at age 24.
Madame is an interesting character. She’s described as “a woman of wisdom, power, and beauty.” Tell me more about her.
There is a very famous French dominatrix (Catherine Robbe-Grillet) who is in her 80s or 90s now and is still actively kinky. She’s an incredibly classy, elegant older woman with white hair and I find her fascinating. I think my Madame is how I imagine Robbe-Grillet at a younger age. The Vanity Fair profile of Catherine Robbe-Grillet begins with this line: “[She] makes Fifty Shades of Grey look like a Disney movie.” Madame makes Mistress Nora look like a Disney Princess.
“Through the looking glass” is a theme that comes up several times in The Chateau. What’s the significance of the looking glass?
The Chateau isn’t simply a story about a previously unexplored time in Kingsley’s life (when he was a spy in his 20s). It’s also an origin story of sorts about the kingdom Kingsley will later build in New York for all his kinky friends. Kingsley and Nora both employ Alice in Wonderland and Through-the-Looking-Glass imagery in their kinky lives. This book shows where Kingsley first encountered the concept of living a kinky life as going “through the looking glass.”
You’ve written suspense before (your gothic suspense The Lucky Ones was recently published by Mira Books), but this is your first real thriller. How did your writing process differ on this book?
This book was much easier to write than The Lucky Ones. With Kingsley, all you have to do is conjure him up and drop him into a weird situation and you’ll have fun as a reader and a writer. The pitch was, “Kingsley goes on an erotic adventure inside a femme-domme cult.” The story pretty much wrote itself. It’s James Bond with blow jobs, BDSM, and an angst-ridden bisexual hero still in love with his ex-boyfriend.
Other Original Sinners characters show up or are eluded to, including a certain blond priest…
There’s so much Søren in this book, it’s silly. He’s all over the book from the first page to the last. That’s because you can’t have a Kingsley book without Søren. It would be like bread without butter, day without night, sadism without masochism. Kingsley cannot be understood as a person or a character without Søren. Søren is his creator. There would be no Kingsley as we know him if he’d never met Søren.
After eight books in the Original Sinners series, The Chateau is the first full-length standalone set in the Original Sinners universe. Why did you decide to step outside of the series format for this book?
I had conceived of the idea for The Chateau a long time ago as a spiritual sequel to Story of O, but Kingsley wasn’t a character in it. But the idea kept falling flat for me. When I threw Kingsley into the mix and made him my O who gets thrown into this weird kinky world, the book came to life.
What’s next for the Original Sinners?
In October, 8th Circle Press is releasing Picture Perfect Cowboy, which is an Original Sinners standalone novel (category-romance length). It stars Simone, Søren’s backup whipping girl who works at The 8th Circle, and a new character, Jason Waters, a retired rodeo champion who’s deeply conflicted between his kinky impulses and his incredibly conservative family and upbringing. Simone is the cure for what ails him! Søren and Mistress Nora both make big cameos in Picture Perfect Cowboy.
This is an exclusive excerpt from The Chateau: An Erotic Thriller, on sale this June from 8th Circle Press…
The dream always begins the same way. In the winter. In the woods.
Kingsley stands in snow surrounded by shadows. None of the shadows are his because he’s not really there. He leaves no footprints as he walks. He does not see his steaming breath as he breathes. He is a ghost in this white forest, but he is not the only ghost here.
Before him stands a door.
It’s an arched wooden door alone in the woods. It belongs to an old chapel, but there is no church here, no chapel, no house. Only a door. Kingsley can walk around the door, but nothing will happen. Nothing will happen at all until he steps through it. The iron latch is cold enough to bite his bare fingers, but he doesn’t feel this either. He lifts it and passes through the door, because that is where the boy in white waits for him.
The moon is full and high, and the snow is bright, and he can see the young man so clearly it’s almost as if it were daytime, almost as if it weren’t a dream at all.
The boy in the clearing is beautiful, his hair so blond it looks almost white. His hair is white and his clothes are white, not snow white but a purer white, a baptismal white.
Kingsley speaks a word—either the boy’s name or “sir.” When he wakes he can never remember what word he says.
The boy, luminous in his pure white clothing, stands next to a table made of rough stone and on the stone table is a chess board made of ice.
Even though it is a dream, and no one has spoken but him, Kingsley knows he is supposed to sit and stay and play the game. It’s the rules. If he doesn’t play, he’ll wake up, and the last thing he wants is to wake up now, to wake up ever.
He sits opposite the young man with the white-blond hair. The chess board is between them. Everything is between them.
Kingsley moves his pawn.
“You’re not really here,” Kingsley says to the boy with the snowy hair and the silver eyes. The boy’s beauty renders the dream a nightmare because Kingsley knows when morning comes, the boy will be gone and nowhere does such beauty exist among his waking hours. Not anymore.
“How do you know?” the boy asks, moving his king.
“You look eighteen,” Kingsley says, moving another pawn. “You’re twenty-five now. I’m twenty-four.”
The boy moves his king again. “In your memory I’m eighteen.”
“That isn’t how you play,” Kingsley says. “You can’t move the king like that.”
“It’s my game,” the boy in white says. “I move my king however I want. Don’t you remember? Don’t you remember the way I moved my King anywhere and everywhere I wanted him to go?”
Even in the snow and the cold, Kingsley grows warm.
Kingsley moves his bishop.
The boy in white moves his king again.
“I don’t know how to win this game,” Kingsley says. “How can I win if I don’t know the rules?”
The boy in white narrows his silver eyes at him. “You’ve already won.”
“To play is to win, if you’re playing with me. Isn’t that true?” the boy asks with an arrogant smile in his eyes.
Kingsley knows this is true though it galls him to admit it. He doesn’t care who wins the game as long as the game between them goes on forever. He moves another pawn and the boy in white captures it.
To be the pawn captured in that boy’s hand…
“How do you keep finding me?” Kingsley asks.
“You came to me,” the boy says. “I’m always here.”
“I lost you,” Kingsley says. “Seven years ago. I lost you.”
“No,” the boy says, smiling for the first time. His face is like Michelangelo’s David, passive and powerful and carved from pale marble. His eyes are granite and if Kingsley had a chisel he knows he could chip away at the boy’s chest until he uncovered an iron and copper wire heart beating inside a steel ribcage.
“You lost you,” the boy says. The smile is gone and it has begun to snow again. When it snows, Kingsley knows the dream is almost over. All he wants to do is stay asleep a little longer. All he wants to do is stay asleep forever.
“How do I find you again?” Kingsley asks. “Please, tell me before I wake.”
“You don’t find me,” the boy says. “I find you.”
“Find me then.”
“When it’s time.”
“When will it be time?”
The boy in white moves his hands over the board and Kingsley looks down. The ice king lays on the board broken in two pieces.
“When?” Kingsley asks. He is a child again, asking a thousand questions in the quest for a single answer. The snow is falling harder now, heavy as rain and hot as tears. “Tell me when, please…”
The boy leans across the board as if to kiss him, but instead of a kiss, Kingsley is given an answer.
“When you find you.”
Between the kiss and the answer, Kingsley would have picked the kiss.
About Tiffany Reisz
Tiffany Reisz is the USA Today bestselling author of the Original Sinners series for Mira Books and Mills & Boon, including the RT Book Reviews Best Erotic Romance 2012 winner The Siren and the LAMBDA Literary Award-winning The King. Her novel The Saint won the Romance Writers of America RITA® for best Erotic Romance in 2015.
About 8th Circle Press
8th Circle Press is a Lexington, Kentucky-based publisher of literary friction. For more information, visit our website at www.8thCirclePress.com.
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