Hi guys! We have Deanna Wadsworth popping in today with the tour for her new release La Famiglia, we have a great new excerpt so check out the post and enjoy! <3 ~Pixie~
Forrester Giordano comes from a huge, nosy Italian family, and with their homophobic jokes and slurs, he’s decided to stay in the closet. He finds respite in his bookstore in the quaint village of Gilead—where he has a huge crush on one of his customers, Kyle Benson.
Kyle is determined to live his dreams, and though life isn’t easy being deaf, one by one he’s making them come true. He’s scored a great job practicing law, bought a cute bungalow where he can finally have a big flower garden, and he has a dog he loves, Jasper. Now he just needs one thing to complete his happiness: a family of his own to make up for the one he never had.
Forrester and Kyle’s relationship starts off hot and heavy, and neither man can deny the depth of their connection. When Forrester’s little brother gets mixed up with their heroin-dealing cousin and his mother falls ill, Forrester has a decision to make—maybe the hardest of his life. For the first time, he’s found a man worth coming out for.
Unfortunately nothing ever goes according to plan with la famiglia.
“WOW, THIS place is hopping today.”
Forrester Giordano nearly dropped the box of books in his hands.
The angle of the afternoon sun cast a glare across the front of his bookstore café, forcing him to squint. His favorite customer—and the most beautiful man in the world—stood before him, backlit by the sun, the light glinting golden off his blond hair like someone opened the door on a dream.
Startling hazel eyes captured his, and for a solitary moment, Forrester couldn’t breathe. “Look at you,” he whispered.
Then Kyle Benson moved out of the glare, and Forrester saw the man’s grin, and his knees went to jelly. Kyle had the most adorable dimples when he smiled.
Forrester had always loved dimples. They spoke of innocence in need of serious corruption.
“Um, do I have spinach in my teeth or something?” Kyle asked.
But one glimpse of a man who belonged on the covers of romance novels always turned Forrester into the biggest dork in all of Northwest Ohio. “Oh, uh, I mean your helmet and jacket….” He fumbled, grasping for anything to cover up his faux pas. “You ride motorcycles?”
“Yup, a Harley.” Kyle set his helmet on the coffee bar counter. “First nice Saturday of the year, so I thought I’d take her out for a spin.”
“Oh, cool.” Forrester shuffled the box in his hands.
“It’s busy in here today.” Kyle tugged off his riding gloves and put them inside the helmet. “You having a party?”
Forrester glanced around his shop, A Novel Idea. The majority of customers today were a handful of gay men and squealing fangirls—mostly middle-aged women. They sipped coffee or lingered in the comfy chairs tucked in cozy nooks between tall bookshelves full of new and used books. He’d bought most of the shelves when the big bookstore he used to manage at the mall closed. Forrester and his brothers built the rest. The shop had most recently been a local tavern, but now customers bellied up to the long wooden bar with cappuccinos rather than beers. The customers were there to meet S.D. Howe, a gay romance novelist who lived right here in Gilead.
“Guest author,” Forrester explained. “He’s a local.”
“Oh yeah? Anyone I know?”
Forrester squirmed at the open way Kyle stared at his face, waiting for an answer. “I’m not sure. Do you ever read S.D. Howe? He’s pretty popular in certain circles.”
Translation: Are you gay, because I’ve been dying to know.
Kyle lived in one of Gilead’s quaint bungalows, and he’d become a frequent customer at the bookstore. While it felt like they were flirting, Forrester didn’t want to say anything stupid. He’d already made an ass of himself asking Kyle if he was from New Zealand or some other “exotic place,” because of his accent. Kyle had laughed and explained he was deaf. Forrester had stumbled over himself to apologize, but Kyle assured him it happened all the time.
Kyle’s brows rose. “Oh yeah? The guy who wrote the Shi Knight books? He’s here today?”
“You read those?”
Shrugging, Kyle said, “Yeah. You know I love sci-fi.”
“Oh, um, okay. I’m just a little surprised.” His face heated and his blood raced.
Kyle’s gay! He has to be, right? Those books were loaded with gay sex.
He cautioned himself not to get too excited. Kyle was totally out of his league, always dressing so stylishly. Forrester had put on his “fancy clothes” for the signing—new khakis, a white Buckeyes jersey, and flip-flops. But Kyle was into all the same sci-fi and fantasy stuff Forrester was. The day he learned Kyle loved Doctor Who, Kyle had officially taken the role as Forrester’s dream man. Of course, the way he styled his shaggy blond hair—like he’d crawled out of bed after a good fuck—didn’t hurt either.
Kyle chuckled. “You’re surprised because of all the sex.”
Oh my God, he just said the word sex! Forrester nodded and shifted the box he held. “Well, um… yeah?”
“That was the best part of the books, don’t you think?” Kyle looked back and forth from his eyes to his mouth, waiting for Forrester to reply.
The way Kyle openly studied his face had unnerved Forrester at first—it felt so intimate—but now he understood Kyle was reading his lips. Sometimes it seemed he could hear, but Forrester had the decency not to ask him when or how well his hearing aid worked. Forrester wanted to have a cute, witty reply now, but he could only nod.
Smiling, Kyle leaned in closer, and Forrester found himself leaning in too. “Have you read the one about the green alien with the three cocks? So hawt!”
Oh my dear God in heaven, Kyle said the word cock.
Forrester’s entire body heated from head to toe.
“It’d be fun to read that one together sometime, eh?” Kyle said, shocking Forrester further.
His head moved, and he realized he was nodding. Then he flinched. “Wait… with me?”
The confidence in Kyle’s demeanor faltered, and he tipped his head to the side. “Um, am I reading this”—he pointed between them—“wrong?”
Forrester’s head moved side to side and all he could do was stare.
“Frankie!” a woman’s voice startled him out of his stupor.
He snapped around and curled his lip at his best friend and store manager, Holly. “Don’t call me that.”
She laughed, knowing how much he hated the nickname his family had given him. He’d been named after his non-Italian grandpa, but his family had taken it upon themselves to call him Frankie since childhood because it sounded more Italian.
Forrester hated it.
“Well, I’ve been saying your name for two minutes, but you’re too busy making googly eyes at customers.” Holly smirked. “I needed to get your attention.”
Now Forrester knew his face glared beet red.
Kyle chuckled as though he enjoyed Forrester’s embarrassment.
Grinning, Holly leaned across the bar to wipe it down. “What can I get you, Kyle? The usual?”
With a wink, Kyle turned toward her. “Yup, black coffee.”
Good Lord, Kyle winked at me!
“Coming right up.” She got down one of the red mugs hanging from the hooks. “And, Forrester, when you go into the back room, I’m out of vanilla syrup.”
“Yeah, okay.” Clearing his throat, he hurried into the storage room/office—and often a place to crash when he didn’t want to go home. He didn’t get any peace and quiet living at home with Ma, Nonna, and his baby brother, Joey. Gilead was a sweet up-and-coming historical town on the muddy Shiloh River, but Forrester couldn’t afford to live here. Hell, he couldn’t afford much after he sank everything into his dream of opening a bookstore café.
When A Novel Idea started turning a profit, then he’d get his own place and start living his life again.
The small back room was pleasantly cramped with haphazard piles of books on the floor, shelves, and in boxes. He set the box of books down on Gramps’s old rolltop desk, and his hands shook.
“Did Kyle just ask me out?” he muttered. It had been a while since he’d been legit asked out and not just hooked up through an app or with some dude in a bar.
A byproduct of moving back home after college—and straight back into the closet.
Actual dating wasn’t easy with his nosy family around.
Taking quick inventory of himself, he glanced in the small mirror in the employee bathroom and ran his hands through his hair, attempting to flatten it. His dark hair curled over his ears and skimmed his collar. He needed a haircut, and his face was all red. Instead of sharing his brothers’ olive complexions, Forrester had inherited his mother’s fair skin, which flushed way too easily from exertion or heightened emotions, and unfortunately the blush lingered. His ruddy glow wouldn’t fade anytime soon.
When he left the back room, syrup in hand, Kyle had situated himself in the cozy armchair in the display window up front, a cool feature from back in the twenties when his shop had been a general store and connected to the space next door. Lips puckered as he blew on his coffee, Kyle was already immersed in his book.
For almost nine weeks—not that Forrester was counting—Kyle had been coming into A Novel Idea a couple of times a week, and like clockwork every Saturday morning, sometimes with his laptop and sometimes just to read. He ordered his coffee black, no sweet stuff, and stayed a few hours. It was the highlight of Forrester’s day and the biggest letdown when Kyle went home—like Forrester’s best friend in the whole world was leaving for summer camp and what if he never saw him again?
That was the only way Forrester could explain how Kyle made him feel.
Putting his mind back on work, he went behind the bar and handed Holly the vanilla syrup. He didn’t know how he would’ve managed to run this shop without her. They’d been best friends since forever and making her his manager had been a no-brainer.
“Did you ask him out yet?” she whispered over the sound of the milk steamer as she made coffee drinks with expert efficiency for the four young women at the counter.
“No.” He almost told her what Kyle had said, but he couldn’t be sure whether Kyle had been serious or not.
“He’s totally into you. He’s in here all the time. Last Friday he came in, asked me if you were here, and when I said no, he got his coffee to go.”
A flutter of excitement went through his middle, and he felt his cheeks turn brighter red. “Why didn’t you tell me?”
Holly’s blue eyes widened, making them more prominent than usual. “I’m telling you now. Just ask him out. I know you want to.”
Grinning, he kissed the top of her head. At six four, he towered over the little brunette. “Look who thinks they know so much.”
“I think I know you pretty well, Forrester. Are you forgetting who gave you your first hand job in the eighth grade?”
“Jeez, tell the whole world, why don’t ya?” He darted a look toward Kyle, unsure how powerful his hearing aid was, but hoping the customers waiting for coffee hadn’t heard her crass comment either.
Holly had been Forrester’s first kiss, his first sexual experience, his prom date, and one of the first people he came out to. She pretty much knew everything about him.
Some days it was a real pain in the ass.
Relentless like a dog with a bone, she pressed her point. “Go ask him out.”
Forrester’s gaze lingered on Kyle. Unaware of being their current topic of conversation, the man leafed through his book, handling it as if it were more than mere paper and binding.
The jingling bells above his shop door drew Forrester’s attention. His guest author S.D. Howe and a tall bald guy were walking in.
The girls waiting for coffee whispered excitedly.
“Isn’t that him?”
“I think it is.”
“Oh my God….”
Forrester hurried out from behind the bar—ignoring his buttinski friend and the fangirls—to greet his guest. “Thanks so much for coming, Mr. Howe.”
“Call me Scott.” Scott had lots of muscles and was kind of cute. “This is my husband, Phin.”
Though about the same height as Forrester, Phin seemed ten times wider. Like a giant Mr. Clean. But when Forrester accepted his handshake, he did not get a vicious knuckle-crunching grip. Phin’s hands were calloused but gentle.
Behind him, Holly and the fangirls whispered excitedly. Holly was a huge fan of gay romance novels and had been beside herself over today’s visit.
When Scott blushed, Forrester gestured for his guests to follow. “Let me show you where I set everything up.”
A small table sat at the end of the bar and in front of the open café area. In addition to the nine barstools, the middle of the shop had four tables where customers could linger and read. Two bearded guys in skinny jeans sipped lattes while working on one of the jigsaw puzzles Holly had set up. Clever girl knew how to make customers stay and buy more coffee. Forrester had moved a few things to set up a small podium and a ring of chairs for today.
“This is perfect,” Scott said with a smile.
Forrester helped Scott and his Mr. Clean husband set up poster boards with blown-up versions of the obviously gay book covers. Seeing the erotic book Kyle had mentioned, Visitor in the Wood, Forrester was glad his family rarely came to the bookstore. That book cover was totally not PG.
And Kyle wanted to read it with Forrester?
Get your copy of LA FAMIGLIA today!!
Men of Gilead series!
City boy, sci-fi novelist, and recovering pushover Scott Howe doesn’t know what to expect when he inherits his grandmother’s house outside the quaint village of Gilead, Ohio—but it isn’t an enormous bald man in nothing but tighty-whities and orange rubber boots shouting at him to keep his weed wacker away from the rhubarb patch.
Scott has never met anyone like Phineas Robertson: homesteader, recluse… Republican. A tender—if unlikely—friendship grows over the summer while Phin and his schnauzer, Sister Mary Katherine, teach Scott about life in the country and the grandmother he never knew. Opposites attract, but widower Phin worries his secret will send Scott running faster than his politics, and Phin isn’t convinced he deserves a second chance at romance.
Scott is convinced—rural life, and his one-of-a-kind, older neighbor, is the future he wants. Before he can settle in, his mother drops a bombshell that strains their already tenuous relationship, and a cousin who believes he is the rightful heir to the property puts Scott in danger. It’ll take a lot of compromises, and even dodging a few bullets before they’re out of the weeds, but nurturing something as special as true love always takes hard work.
Dreamspinner Press | Kobo | B&N | Amazon US | Amazon UK | iTunes | Google Play
Welcome Home, Soldier
Clay and Daniel fell in love as enlisted men during Desert Shield, but Don’t Ask Don’t Tell meant they had to keep it secret. After Clay’s convoy was ambushed, PTSD changed him, and their relationship ended in a horrible fight on Christmas Eve.
Twenty-five years later, they’ve reconnected on Facebook, and Clay finds out Daniel will be alone on Christmas Eve. Impulsively, he sets out for Daniel’s hometown of Gilead, Ohio—where Daniel is now the mayor—to surprise him with a visit. But a blizzard strikes and Clay wrecks his car. All hope of seeing Daniel is lost—until a mysterious old man named Nick offers Clay a ride. The weight of past wounds and the scars of war might make their reunion awkward, but Clay is willing to take the risk to win back his lost love. Despite a lifetime of disappointing holidays, Clay hopes that this soldier is finally coming home for Christmas.
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. She has served multiple board positions at her local RWA chapter and is the current President 2017 for Rainbow Romance Writers of America. 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.