Tuesday, May 26, 2015

History Week Part II Continues: Deanna Wadsworth

Thank you, Dean, for hosting me this week during your historical romance tour!
I brought along a special steamy excerpt today but made sure it was loaded with just enough historical flavors to fit with your tour. As a special treat to celebrate the release of WRECKED, I brought along a rafflecopter contest for your readers where they can have a chance to win my first historical novel EASY RYDER—a gay teen begins a cross-country journey of  sexual discovery, danger and love after being picked up by a biker on July 4th 1976.
Stay tuned after the excerpt to enter!
WRECKED came out May 15th from Dreamspinner Press and I am so happy to finally have it out there for fans to enjoy. This book was a long time in the making. After visiting Key West, Florida in 2009 and going to the Key West Shipwreck Museum. I thought there would be relics from under the sea, but I never expected to be inspired to write this book. The Pre-Civil War era of the Florida Keys is not something this Ohio gal learned about in history class, and unless you live there, I very much doubt that you learned 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.
But the truth is, they were heroes.
Of course my hero Mathew has a hard time believing that since he is about to lose a lot of money after his ship wrecked and he hired the wreckers to help. Or is his real problem how attractive he finds one particular wrecker….

Blurb from WRECKED:
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 fianceĆ©—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.

Excerpt from WRECKED:

Heart pounding and sweat slicking his brow, Mathew raced down the stairs, needing to put as much space between himself and Rief as humanly possible.
He’d been a fool to come here!
“We’re wreckers, not pirates,” Rief declared from above, anger in a voice that had been so pleasant a moment ago.
Mathew descended the spiral stairs faster, head spinning. It seemed so much farther climbing down now that he was impatient to escape the things Rief’s presence—no! Mr. Lawson’s presence did to him. He could not allow this man to be relegated to such a friendly place, even in his mind. Though growing dizzy, Mathew didn’t slow his pace. He was halfway to the bottom. Just a little farther….
Out of nowhere, a large hand grabbed his arm.
“Unhand me!” Mathew growled, trying to break free.
Rief towered over him, oppressing him with a sudden fury. He had seen Rief’s playful side, but much like the Florida weather, there was a potential for darkness too. A potential to lash out like an injured, cornered animal. Mathew had sensed it. Seen it in those hazel eyes.
And now here it was, at the fore.
“Wreckers sometimes go months between finding a salvage job, and they don’t get paid for that. And when they do work, it’s perilous and backbreaking. Lots of good men die,” Rief said. “Is it wrong to get paid for doing a dangerous job?”
Mathew tried to shake his arm loose, but Rief’s hand circled his bicep in an iron grip, rendering him powerless, trapped between the brick wall and a solid pillar of hard muscle. Rief could break his arm effortlessly if he wanted. He could do whatever he wanted to Mathew, and there was no way to stop him.
“Let go of me,” he warned, pleased his voice didn’t tremble like his insides.
Smirking until that single, mocking dimple appeared, Rief cocked his head to the side. “Or what? Are you gonna scream like a little maid?”
Those words struck harder than the blow of a fist.
After everything they’d discussed, he never expected Rief to speak to him with the same mocking tone Father used. To know Rief did not think of Mathew as an equal, as a man… destroyed something inside him.
Because, was he a real man? How could he be when he couldn’t even act like he should? Associating with women, lusting after men? Falling overboard like a clumsy fool? He’d failed to handle the auction preparations, then cowered under Father’s reproof. Even Maggie dismissed his opinions as if he were a child. He should tell her to order a dress for him out of that damn lavender silk, because he really was a molly, a dandy, and a fribble, just like everyone said.
And having Rief throw it in his face crushed Mathew to his very soul.
“You wreckers disgust me!” Fighting tears of shame, he allowed anger to take hold of him. “You’re all in some sort of grand conspiracy to extort as much as you can out of people’s misfortune. Your own uncle has deceived me. You claim to be altruistic, helping those in need, but you prey on the injured like vultures, twisting the laws until you leave us with nothing!”
“You got your life,” Rief reminded him, his grip tightening, his body moving closer. Mathew could smell the sweet saltiness of his breath. The sun-soaked musk of his skin.
Suddenly a hot flush worked across his body. The fear twisted, making his heart race at the raw intensity of the man holding him captive. The scent of Rief’s sweat, the heat of his body, made Mathew’s groin stir. He hated himself for it, but he could not stop it any more than he could stop a storm at sea.
He sputtered for a reply. “W-which I am grateful for.”
Laughter echoed in the lighthouse. “Doesn’t sound like it.” Rief’s entire body grew with indignation. “I risked my life to save you. Then I risked it again retrieving your cargo and a ‘thank-you’ is all I deserve? How dare you name an honest sailor a pirate?”
Mathew’s heart leapt when Rief released his arm and circled him on the step below, a predator cornering his prey. Though it hurt where Rief had grabbed him, he refused to massage his arm. The flesh was probably bruised, and rather than be angry about that, a part of his mind was perversely pleased Rief had marked him, even in anger.
“You tell me, Mathew,” he went on, his voice scathing with sarcasm. “Were you donating all your goods to orphans and convents?” He laughed. “No. I reckon you planned to sell it for a profit just like any businessman would.”
Trying to ignore the heat of Rief’s body all but on top of his, he searched wildly for a way to escape the cylindrical prison.
“We’re businessmen too. We’ve got a license from the government. We explain everything to the captain, and they sign a paper saying they want our help. Yet you still have us cursed and named pirates!”
Instinctively Mathew pressed his back against the cool brick.
Rief filled in the miniscule gap, breaths ragged and his fists bunched at his sides. Standing between Mathew and freedom, Rief held him trapped. It should have frightened Mathew, and in truth it did.
But it did something else too.
The passionate way Rief defended his life stirred emotions inside Mathew, both wild and untapped. A connection to something violent and out of control.
Frustrated, Mathew huffed a few times before he spoke. “Why y-you….” He couldn’t think of a word bad enough. “Ill-mannered….”
“Ill-mannered? Is that the best insult you got?” Rief’s incredulous laugh bounced all around them.
Mathew silenced that laughter the only way he could think of.
He kissed him.

ENTER TO WIN EASY RYDER It’s July 3, 1976, the beginning of America’s bicentennial weekend, and everyone seems to be celebrating their freedoms except eighteen-year-old runaway Michael Ryder. Fresh from rural Pennsylvania, Michael is doing whatever and whoever it takes to get to San Francisco, where he hopes to find a new life with the freedom to love without fear.

While hitchhiking, a mysterious, tattooed biker named Snake offers him a ride west—on the back of his customized Harley chopper. During their journey across Route 66, Snake introduces Michael to new and steamy pleasures, leaving Michael aching for more than just a physical relationship. But a violent encounter with a cruel biker gang and a harrowing secret from Snake’s military past might destroy their unlikely relationship long before they reach the end of the road.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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. 

You can also find her young adult alter ego, K.D. Worth FacebookTwitter
Buy Deanna’s books at Dreamspinner Press, Decadent Publishing or at any reputable eBook seller

In celebration of History Week Part II, I will be giving away an Ecopy of my first novel, A Place to Call Their Own, which is available from JMS Books.  Comment and follow me and the other folks on Twitter to enter to win!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


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