Thank you, Shari and Sophia, for hosting me on The Delighted Reader with Betrayed, book one in the “World Without Love” series. Since its launch last October, I’ve received lots of email from readers and reviewers asking me about the inspiration for the story, as the concept—and adult nature of the theme—is a bit of a departure for me. So here’s the answer, with a few notes on the content that I hope will help readers decide to take the plunge.
Throughout history, there are numerous examples of sex for sale. And unfortunately, in many parts of the world, it’s still an acceptable practice—a regular part of established commerce. And I want to say right up front the book isn’t about trying to preach a lesson or bring the unfortunate plight of any group to the forefront. The concept is simply an element which allowed the story to evolve, and the heroine, Jewel, to grow from her relatively complacent and safe middle-class background to a woman who discovers her own strength and power.
In Betrayed, Jewel is dragged from her home after her husband bets and loses her in a card game. Gagged and drugged to smother her screams, she awakens to find herself bound to a make-shift rack in the hold of a private yacht.
As Jewel begins to grapple with the decisions she must make in order to survive, she ultimately learns that sex takes place on two levels—the obvious physical level and the mental experience, with each individual bringing their own expectations, needs, and idiosyncrasies. This was an important concept for Jewel to learn, because like many women her age, she had begun to question the traditional view of so-called “perfect sex”—dependent upon the right time and place, with the perfect partner, in the ideal romantic setting. More than once, she had wondered why the idea of sex carried so much meaning at the beginning of a relationship, and then over time, became less of a priority, even less rewarding, in the relationship. In Betrayed, Jewel learns the answers for herself, eventually realizing she has the capacity to influence her own sexual response and pleasure, choosing whether to enjoy the activity . . . or not.
Fair warning—Betrayed contains some graphic sexual situations. They’re included because the story wouldn’t work without them. The raw nature of these scenes are the basis of Jewel’s evolvement from a not-quite-innocent twenty-two-year-old girl to an independent and strong woman capable of holding her own in the most challenging sexual situations. For Jewel, sex becomes a method—a vehicle—by which she discovers her power as a woman in a man’s world.
Betrayed is available in both kindle eBook and paperback from Amazon. The “World Without Love” series is a continuing story and meant to be read in sequence. Book Two, Reunion, is available now in kindle eBook and paperback from Amazon.
Jewel has everything going for her—a handsome husband, a promising future, and lots of time to explore an island paradise she now calls home.
But when a group of strangers accompanies her husband home for a friendly game of poker, her life quickly becomes a hellish nightmare of deceit and betrayal.
Now her very survival depends on entering a world where sex, domination, and money are inseparable, where women must obey all masters, and where every desire has its price.
“World Without Love” contains mature content and is intended for an 18+ audience
Dizzy and disoriented, I take a breath, trying to dispel the nausea. But the air is laced with the pungent smell of damp rot, and its raw bite forces me to shallow my breathing.
Staring into the darkness, I search for a shape, a silhouette—anything to give me a clue about my surroundings. But there is only a thick layered blackness, as endless as the grave.
I’m plagued by the sensation of motion, of being rocked up and down. A flash of impaired logic tells me to dismiss it as a specter, an artifact from the nearly depleted dose of Halcion.
A minute passes—or an hour. I can’t tell which.
I hear something—a garbled voice, remnants of disconnected conversation. And from much farther away, the plaintive cries of a bird. The sounds seem genuine, missing that phantom-like quality associated with suspects from a barbiturate daze.
I take it as a sign—the drugs are finally leaving my system.
A prickly thaw sweeps the surface of my skin, bringing with it the nagging sensation that something is pulling at my limbs, tugging at me from both ends.
It’s not an after-effect of the drugs, I’m sure of that. It’s too strong, too constant. I have the sense it’s been there all along, waiting to break through the chemical cloud that kept me unconscious.
It’s growing stronger, getting worse, becoming a piercing burn stretching from my shoulders to my hips, cutting me to the quick.
I try to turn, to get away from the waves of searing heat raking at my arms and legs.
I can’t move.
The realization is as damning as if I’d awakened in the sulfur pits of hell. I’m bound like an animal, my wrists tied above my head, my legs strapped at the ankles—my body a living bridge of straining joints and wrenched sinew.
Even as my muscles scream at the draw of the restraints, I feel the bite of riveted steel against my back, the harsh, unforgiving surface running the length of my spine.
It’s no accident. Whoever did this intentionally stripped me, leaving me exposed and vulnerable, determined to violate my mind as well as my body.
The blackness rolls then plunges, releasing something new into the shifting darkness. Slithering against me, it touches my skin with a bitter cold that breaks through the unrelenting agony of the rope. I hear my own tortured wheeze catch in my throat as I feel it scoring my stomach, the freezing nip and sting quickly followed by the unmistakable seeping of liquid, collecting in the hollow of my belly, running down my sides.
A rush of useless adrenalin floods my bloodstream, my chest threatening to explode as my racing heart frantically pumps blood to an unseen wound.
Even through the suffocating surge of panic, a vision of what I cannot see crystalizes with vivid detail: My arms and legs are tortuously drawn on a makeshift rack . . . a pendulum of biting chill slices across my naked torso . . . tiny rivers of fluid trickle down my sides.
I barely hear it over my pounding heartbeat—the sound of sloshing liquid.
In seconds, it becomes as familiar as it is terrifying.
I’m lying in water.
I take a halted breath as I realize the truth. The fluid running down my sides is not blood, but ribbons of over-wash from the frigid pool that surrounds me.
Rope and water.
Pain and fear.
It’s deliberate . . . to break me.
Again, the darkness lurches and rolls, churning the water, splashing it over my breasts and thighs. And although the icy burn forces me to gasp for air, it also sparks a moment of fleeting recognition—a vague memory from my past, a connection to the rise and fall of everything around me.
I’ve felt it before.
But where? When?
Stray thoughts flood my mind—the gentle climb, the momentary sense of weightlessness, the sudden drop . . . the unique motion of the sea.
It isn’t much, but it gives me something to hold on to, a starting point in remembering what has happened to me.
Jaye is offering one (1) kindle eBook of Betrayed. Comment below to enter.
US only. Giveaway ends April 17, 2016.