Welcome Stephanie Draven to the blog today!
Welcome, Steph! Please share a little about yourself, your genres, any other pen names you use.
Thanks for having me, Laura. You’re the bee’s knees!
My name is Stephanie Draven and I write very smart books for very bad girls. Sometimes it’s historical, sometimes it’s contemporary, sometimes it’s paranormal, and sometimes it’s erotic, but everything I write takes into account the heroine’s journey as well as the hero’s!
So awesome to have you here, Steph! Okay, tell us a little about your latest or upcoming release.
IT STINGS SO SWEET is a 1920s historical erotic romance novel that is actually comprised of three separate, but intertwined stories. The first is a story about a married couple on the brink of divorce who are brought back together when they discover their inner kinks. The second is about a jaded starlet who finally meets a man who can make even a girl like her blush. The third is about a shop girl and social activist who finds herself in a torrid affair with her boss--the man she’s planning a strike against.
All three stories are set in a time when there weren’t words for the BDSM lifestyle, but people still had the same urges. It’s about people who are convinced that their sexuality will leave them isolated and alone--people who learn that accepting themselves is actually the path to love.
Ooh, they sound soooo sexy! Which character is your favorite and why?
I loved every character in this book but if I have to pick only one, it’s Leo Vanderberg, World War One Flying Ace. An American aviator who masters everything he puts his hands on whether it’s an airplane or a silent screen siren.
There is a moment in the story that Clara gets embarrassed and doesn’t want to tell Leo how many lovers she’s had. He laughs and says, “I hope your list numbers in the hundreds . . . this way, when you admit I’m the best you’ve ever had, it’ll really mean something.”
The moment those words rolled off his lips, I fell in love with him. And so did she.
Aw, he sounds AWESOME! As the author, what surprised you about this story?
I didn’t know that films in the 1920s were so racy--it was before the Hays Code, so anything was allowed. And they did everything. I actually tripped over digitized pornography from this era and was so charmed by one of the films that I started writing a story for one of the women in it. That’s how Clara Cartwright was born.
[Steph has actually shared some of these films with me. Let’s just say, 1920s porn kinda rocks! LOL] What was the hardest thing for you about writing this story?
I really pushed myself to think of sexual scenarios that were decidedly out of my comfort zone and I’m glad that I did.
Good for you! What do you find easiest and hardest to write?
Dialog is usually easy for me but in this book, I spent a lot of time learning 1920s slang. It was time-consuming but so much fun! Now I try to use at least one 1920s slang term in daily conversation. It’s the berries!
LOL! Is there a theme or message that runs through your work?
All of my books make the argument that love isn’t really bound by rules. Your relationship is what you make of it. You and the person you love get to decide what makes you happy; society doesn’t get to have a say.
I love that! What would your readers be surprised to learn about you?
I can’t work without my shoes on. Seriously. The moment the shoes come off, I’m done for the day. My mind turns to mush.
*chuckles* Which romance book or series do you wish you had written?
HEARTS IN DARKNESS by Laura Kaye, for starters. Have you read it? If not, do so now.
Also, Megan Hart’s DIRTY.
OMG, you are so sweet! Okay, now, just for fun:
Milk chocolate or dark chocolate? Yes.
Salty or sweet? Yes.
Bed or kitchen table? Bed.
Beach or mountains? Beach.
Give or receive? Yes.
They vibrated with incendiary Jazz. They teemed with sexual abandon. The Twenties were roaring and the women--young, open, rebellious, and willing--set the pace and pushed the limits with every man they met...
In the aftermath of a wild, liquor-soaked party, three women from very different social classes are about to live out their forbidden desires.
Society girl, Nora Richardson's passionate nature has always been a challenge to her ever-patient husband. Now he wants out of the marriage and she has just this one night to win him back. The catch? He wants to punish her for her bad behavior. Nora is offended by her husband's increasingly depraved demands, but as the night unfolds, she discovers her own true nature and that the line between pain and pleasure is very thin indeed.
Meanwhile, Clara Cartwright, sultry siren of the silent screen, is introduced to a mysterious WWI Flying Ace. If Clara, darling of the scandal sheets, knows anything, it's men. And she's known plenty. But none of them push her boundaries like the aviator, who lures her into a ménage with a stranger in a darkened cinema then steals her jaded heart.
Working class girl Sophie O'Brien has more important things on her mind than pleasures of the flesh. But when her playboy boss, the wealthy heir to the Aster family fortune, confronts her with her diary of secret sex fantasies, she could die of shame. To her surprise, he doesn't fire her; instead, he dares her to re-enact her boldest fantasies and Sophie is utterly seduced.
One party serves as a catalyst of sexual awakening. And in an age when anything goes, three women discover that anything is possible...
Leo finishes his drink in silence. He’s all angles and shadows. The camera would love him, and I don’t mind the looks of him, either. “Come home with me,” Leo finally says.
My sigh is one of regret. “I’m afraid Big Teddy and I have an understanding. He’s bankrolled my last three films . . .”
“Because he makes money off them. When Clara Cartwright stars in a motion picture, odds of a safe return are almost two-to-one. You don’t owe him more than your name in lights on the marquee.”
I’ve never let myself think about it that way before and I might be grateful to Mr. Vanderberg for pointing it out, were it not for his self-serving motive. “Even so, you’re not likely to offer me a better deal, are you?”
Leo laughs. “Why are you so determined to convince me you’re that kind of girl?”
I feel a spark of mischief heat my blood. “Maybe because I am that kind of girl.”
“So, you’re jaded,” he says, stubbing out his cigarette into a crystal ashtray.
“A true cynic.”
“You’ve done it all . . .”
I grin. “At least twice.”
“Then level with me,” he begins, leaning in close. “How do you fuck him?”
My smile dies away. “I beg your pardon—”
“Did I shock you already? What happened to the jaded girl, the true cynic who has done it all twice? You’re not getting a case of the vapors just because of a lurid question, are you?”
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THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR BEING MY GUEST, STEPH! Everyone, leave Steph some new release comment love! Did you have a favorite line from the excerpt? Or what's your favorite things about the 1920s?
Thanks for reading!