Today I am so pleased to welcome Deanna Wadsworth to Joyfully Jay. Deanna has come to talk to us about her latest release, WRECKED. She has also brought along an excerpt and great giveaway. Please join me in giving her a big welcome!
Thank you for hosting me, Jay!
I always love visiting your site and sharing my latest book with your readers. WRECKED feels like it has been a long time coming. The book had its birth in 2009 when my husband and I went on vacation to Key West, Florida. One afternoon we decided to tour the Key West Shipwreck Museum. I thought we would see some relics from under the sea, but I never expected to be inspired to write this book. Did you know that in the 1850s Key West was the wealthiest city per capita in America? That money was brought in by salvaging ships wrecked on the Florida Reef, a dangerous occupation which was sanctioned by the US federal courts. These hearty sailors had a reputation as pirates in some circles, and rumors abounded that they tricked mariners into hiring them, or even had a hand in wrecking the ships to begin with.
Talk about a perfect setting for a romance novel!
I first revealed the AWESOME cover Paul Richmond designed at GRL2014, and thought it might be out sooner than May, but editing a historical novel of this size took a while—just not nearly as long as it took to write it! 96K is the finished length. Plenty to sink your teeth into if you’re looking for a nice long, romantic read, if I do say so myself LOL
Now Key West is one of my favorite cities and taking the time to learn the history of this unique place was a lot of fun. I endeavored to layer all of these details, places, people of that Pre-Civil War era and I hope readers really get the feeling that they are right there in Key West with Mathew and Rief.
“I was taught to believe that this class of men were an unprincipled set of beings. On the contrary I find them to be decent men of good common sense.”
—letter from Key West from an unknown correspondent, 1827
“THANK GOD, you’re finally here!”
Before Mathew saw it coming, Rief seized him in a fierce hug.
“Rief!” he hissed, struggling out of his arms and grabbing onto his hat before it toppled down the stairs. As happy as he was to see Rief, a passionate embrace for anyone in the waterfront below to see was extremely dangerous. “Perhaps we should go inside?”
“Yeah, yeah.” Recalling himself, Rief stepped back fast, keeping a hold of his hand and pulling him over the threshold.
Once shut inside, darkness shrouded them, and Mathew was bodily pressed against the door. A mouth sought his, kissing his cheeks and nose as it fought its way to the prize. Mathew groaned when their lips finally met in a wild, uncontrolled kiss. They were so intimately pressed together that the hard steely lines of Rief’s body fit perfectly against his. He could barely catch his breath from the attack, the kiss so much hungrier than any that had come before.
When he pulled his mouth away, gasping for air, Rief continued to press kisses against his throat. “I’m so glad you’re finally here,” he whispered, his hands moving all over him and face buried in Mathew’s neck. “I needed you. I needed you so bad after the fire….”
“Fire?” he repeated. “What are you talking about?”
He stilled and the tight grip on Mathew’s coat flexed. “Never mind that. Everything’s better now that you’re here.” Smoothing his lapels, Rief stepped away. “Would you like a drink?”
Adjusting his semihard cock, he laughed. “After such a welcome, I think I need a cold bath.”
An answering chuckle echoed in the darkness, followed by the scraping sound of a match. Golden light blinded him for a moment. When his eyes adjusted, the candlelight warmed the room with a seductive glow and revealed Rief filling two glasses in the kitchen.
Removing his hat, Mathew smoothed down his hair, wondering about the cause of that panicked kiss. Rief had seemed so frantic, almost scared. He wanted to ask what fire he’d been talking about, but Rief appeared quite calm now.
“You look very nice,” Rief said.
“Thank you.” He beamed, pleased that Rief noticed. He had spent a great time on his toilette, right down to choosing his finest silk underthings. He’d hoped donning his best clothing would give him courage to be like the man Rief had painted. The bespoke frock coat of woven burgundy silk might be too formal, but Mathew had brimmed with confidence the moment he slid it on. The customized fit complimented his slight frame, making him look athletic and muscular. Well, at least he’d fancied it did until Maggie told him his attire was over the top, lecturing him on appropriate fashion for dinner.
Rief held out a glass as he joined him. “Here ya go.”
“Thank you.” Though a drink would settle his nerves, he didn’t want it to dull his senses, so he sipped cautiously.
“How was your day?”
He dropped his top hat on the table with a sigh. “Fine, other than Maggie going on about….” his voice trailed off when he saw Rief stiffen. “Oh, um, perhaps we should not discuss my fiancée, in light of….”
“Yeah, that might be a good idea.”
Awkward, Mathew took a hefty swallow of rum, the burn working into his gullet. Before he realized it, the drink had vanished. He helped himself to another, then wandered toward the studio. “If you don’t mind, I’d like to look at the painting again?”
He had been unable to stop thinking about the authority he’d seen in the eyes of that image.
The erotic, powerful version of Mathew crooking his finger, enticing a man toward him, still sat on the easel. The wet sculpted muscles, the arousal hidden beneath the water, the coy smirk—all of it just as alluring as before.
Warmth simmered inside him and he pulled on his collar with a finger, hoping some of the heat would escape. “Is it wrong that this stirs things in me even though it’s supposed to be me?”
“No, it stirs things in me.”
The air was charged with anticipation, ripe with desire and nerves. He fancied Rief was waiting for him to make the next move. Though he had pushed Mathew into action during their previous encounters, he knew somehow—instinct perhaps?—if anything physical were to commence, Mathew would have to start it. That frantic kiss at the door left him with the notion Rief had needed him in some way. Like he needed comfort and support. Reassurance even.
And he needed it from Mathew.
Studying the painting, Mathew knew if he were real, he would know how to proceed. He would know how to soothe Rief, give him what he needed both physically and emotionally. His doppelganger held the power to seduce, and had a courage the real Mathew only hoped to possess.
Then again, he was starting an illicit love affair with a man, the very thing he’d been terrified to do all his life.
That was rather courageous, wasn’t it?
Off the Key West coast, Rief Lawson works as a wrecker, salvaging ships and their cargo. Exiled to the outskirts of society because of his mysterious gift of sight, Rief?s only respite from his loneliness is painting an unknown blond man.
When a merchant ship wrecks during a violent storm, Rief rescues a drowning victim and comes face-to-face with his destiny.
It is the man from his art!
Heir to an English barony, Mathew Weston entered the merchant trade with his greedy father and soon-to-be father-in-law. Dominated by his father and smothered by the people around him—including his sweet but tiresome
fianceé—Mathew is terrified to follow his true desires. Marriage and obedience seem safer than a life of secrecy and possible prison.
After the daring rescue, a fire ignites between the two men. Powerless to resist his desire, Mathew learns what it means to be a man in Rief?s arms. With this newfound confidence, Mathew teaches Rief through gentle touch that he deserves the affection he?s long been denied. Yet their affair is doomed from the start. Two desperate men, wrecked in heart and mind, must find a way to salvage the chance at love fate has given them.
Deanna Wadsworth might be a bestselling erotica author, but she leads a pretty vanilla life in Ohio with her wonderful husband and a couple adorable cocker spaniels. She has been spinning tales and penning stories since childhood, and her first erotic novella was published in 2010. When she isn’t writing books or brainstorming with friends, you can find her making people gorgeous in a beauty salon. She loves music and dancing, and can often be seen hanging out on the sandbar in the muddy Maumee River or chilling with her hubby and a cocktail in their basement bar. In between all that fun, Deanna cherishes the quiet times when she can let her wildly active imagination have the full run of her mind. Her fascination with people and the interworkings of their relationships have always inspired her to write romance with spice and love without boundaries.
Buy Deanna’s books at Dreamspinner Press, Decadent Publishing or at any reputable eBook seller
Deanna has brought a copy of her book Easy Ryder to give away to one lucky reader. Just follow the Rafflecopter link to enter.
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